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Description

Lovely Near-Gem 1926-D Double Eagle

1926-D $20 MS64 PCGS. Like many other rarities in the Saint-Gaudens series of double eagles, this date had a considerable mintage but a low survival rate. A total of 481,000 1926-D double eagles were struck during the year, and most remained in storage before being melted in the 1930s. This scenario is common to many of the coins in this series, pieces that would otherwise be considered common dates, based on mintage alone. There are no known hoards of this date, and no significant quantities have ever been imported from overseas holdings. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth commented: "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."
Like this piece, most known examples are in various Mint State grades. Only about 10% to 20% of the known population is in circulated grades. For example, Dave Bowers estimated a field population that included 30 to 45 circulated coins and 250 to 400 Mint State pieces. We believe that the actual population is most likely at the low end of those estimates.
This example is a lovely near-Gem specimen with satiny yellow-gold luster enhanced by light pink and orange toning. The rims are markedly beveled, as usual for these coins, and the strike shows some weakness at the center. Each side has the few slight abrasions that prevent a Gem grade assessment. Population: 17 in 64, 7 finer (12/07).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
9th-12th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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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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