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1926-D Condition Rarity Double Eagle, MS65

1926-D $20 MS65 PCGS. The Denver Mint struck 481,000 double eagles in 1926. Most of these were apparently retained in the United States and subsequently melted in the 1930s. Few if any seem to have been sent overseas, as no hoards or significant accumulations have been discovered.
The rarity status of the 1926-D is cogently described by David Akers in his cataloging of the Gem Uncirculated example in the Dr. Thaine Price Collection: "The 1926-D is one of the premier condition rarities of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series. In most respects it is comparable to the 1925-S, although if anything, it is even more difficult to locate above Choice Uncirculated condition than the 1925-S. Along with the 1924-S, the 1926-D is one of only two Saint-Gaudens double eagles that, as of the writing of this catalog (May 1998), has never been certified as a Gem by at least one of the major grading services. In my opinion, however, that is likely to change once the Price specimens offered here are sold, depending on whether or not the new owners decide to 'slab' them." In the ensuing years, PCGS has certified five MS65 examples and two MS66 coins; NGC has yet to see Gem or finer specimens. It is also noteworthy in this regard that the '26-D has, to the best of our knowledge, made only eight appearances in MS65 or better grades through the major auction firms in the last 15 or so years. The most prominent of these is the Morse specimen, which realized $345,000 when Heritage offered it in November 2005.
The Gem example presented here displays dazzling luster that radiates from peach and yellow-gold surfaces tinged with traces of light tan and greenish-gray. A sharp strike occurs on the design elements, save for the usual softness in the Capitol dome. A wispy linear mark in the upper left obverse border serves to identify this marvelous piece that is sure to command keen bidder interest.
From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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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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