Tied For Finest Known 1926-D Double Eagle, MS66 PCGS1926-D $20 MS66 PCGS. The 1926-D is a lower mintage (481,000 pieces) issue that was not preserved in significant numbers. Rather, most examples were melted. Although typically offered in Mint State, the '26-D usually grades no finer than MS63. Only twenty examples are certified at the MS64 level by PCGS and NGC combined, and a mere six pieces have been seen in MS65. PCGS has certified two coins in MS66 and none finer, and NGC has seen no specimens grading higher than MS65 (9/05).
Some of the better-known 1926-D appearances are mentioned below. Bowers and Merena, in their November 1988 sale, offered a '26-D in MS63 out of the Norweb Collection (lot 4126). The catalogers say that "upon reflection, perhaps we should call it MS64." In March 1991, Stack's sold a Choice Brilliant Uncirculated example that was described as having "Full blazing mint luster with a glistening satiny surface" (lot 1215). The Thaine Price coin sold by David Akers (lot 112) in May 1998 was graded Gem Uncirculated and described as being "very sharply struck, except for a trace of weakness at the lower obverse border as often seen." In February 2001, the Goldberg's offered a PCGS-graded MS65 (lot 4203), described as having "greenish-gold luster at the extreme edge, and coppery luster at the centers." Finally, a PCGS-certified specimen that displayed "overlapping layers of crimson-gold, lavender, and powder-blue shades" appeared in our April 2002 Signature sale (lot 7567).
The Premium Gem presented here in our Phillip Morse Sale displays pleasing satiny luster on honey-gold surfaces that are imbued with subtle greenish undertones. While this issue sometimes exhibits weak peripheral striking, this specimen is well impressed throughout, with good definition on the olive branch, the leaves beneath the rock, and the eagle's feathers. The Capitol dome is the only device that displays minor softness. The surfaces are well preserved, revealing just some minor "chatter" on Liberty's right breast, and a couple of minute marks on the eagle's left wing. Population: 2 in 66, 0 finer (9/05).
From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#9184)(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)
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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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