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Description

1926-D Double Eagle, MS64
Underrated Issue in High Grade

1926-D $20 MS64 PCGS. Garrett and Guth uncork some unusually strong language (in context) when they discuss the 1926-D double eagle in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins:

"The 1926-D issue is a very rare coin. The mintage was laid to waste by the bureaucrats who demanded that all gold coins be returned from circulation and melted in the 1930s. The few that did survive were either found overseas or were held back by a handful of wealthy collectors able to keep them through the turmoil of the ensuing few decades."


As a date, however, the 1926-D remains somewhat overshadowed by the more famous (and more rare) 1927-D issue, leaving the 1926-D underrated among collectors at large. David Akers estimates the surviving population at 175-200 examples in all Mint State grades. Those in-the-know are well aware of the challenge posed by the 1926-D, because while the majority of known survivors may be Mint State, those coins are also clustered in the MS60 to MS63 range, often with suboptimal eye appeal.
Such is not the case here. Most impressive about the present coin is its luster, softly frosted yellow-gold with prominent wheat and apricot overtones. Garrett and Guth note that the Capitol dome is softly struck on many 1926-D double eagle examples and that is the case here, though the rest of the coin has decent detail. If not for an abrasion at the left side of Liberty's body just below her waist, this near-Gem example would have a clear shot at an even finer designation, but as an MS64 survivor it is already a condition rarity; PCGS has certified 20 coins in that condition and just four pieces finer (7/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
August, 2011
11th-14th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers

The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two artistically inspired series of gold coins. Each date and mintmark is reviewed with up-to-date information, much of which has never been previously published. The book is based on two extraordinary collections: The Phillip H. Morse collection and the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor collection.

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