1927 Saint, MS67
1927 $20 MS67 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Duckor/Morse. There are two
prime criteria of type coins, those issues that are widely
collected by nonspecialists as examples of their series (or
"type"). The first is wide availability. A type coin should be
among the most widely available issues in the series, or else it
would command a premium compared to other dates. Note that the
emphasis is on availability as opposed to a high mintage; the
1927-S double eagle has a higher mintage than the 1927 from
Philadelphia, yet the 1927 is far more available today and is
collected as a type coin, whereas the 1927-S twenty is a rarity
with a five-figure price floor. The second prime criterion is
attractiveness, or the production qualities of an issue as a whole.
The ideal type coin has above-average striking definition as well
as pleasing luster. Often a range of dates will be found ideal for
a certain series; among proof Morgan dollars, for instance, the
coins from 1896 to 1898 often draw high praise.
Tied for Finest Certified
How well does the 1927 double eagle match the first criterion, that of availability? In a word, magnificently. Between NGC and PCGS, well over a quarter-million examples have been certified, a testament to the coin's current availability. Such was not always the case, though, as the vast majority of the known 1927 double eagles once were locked away in overseas storage, and repatriation from Europe is the greatest known source of the coins. An examination of pre-1960 auction listings is instructive; the earliest auction record in the David Akers United States Gold Coins reference, the 1941 Dunham Collection sold by B. Max Mehl, is listed in the catalog as "very scarce," and Stack's used an identical phrase to describe the issue in 1944 for the J.F. Bell auction catalog. The impact of 1960s repatriation is especially noticeable in the auction records compiled by Akers: The trickle of auction appearances in the 1940s and 1950s, fewer than one a year for each decade, turns into a steady stream through the 1960s and then a torrent in the 1970s.
As for the second criterion, attractiveness, the 1927 once again comes out a winner. In Heritage's offering of another great collection of Saint-Gaudens twenties, the Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage, the cataloger wrote that "examples of the 1927 double eagle are invariably sharply struck, with bright mint frost or smooth satiny surfaces." The two luster qualities are prized, each in their own way, while the sharpness of strike meets more universal acclaim. Akers writes: "Only the collector searching for a 'wonder' coin, i.e. a near perfect specimen, will encounter any difficulty locating a 1927 to his or her liking."
With one glance at this magnificent MS67 coin, it is obvious that Dr. Duckor did a great deal of searching in finding just the right coin, choosing the best of five examples from the Phillip H. Morse Collection. Superb Gems are, if it can be imagined, genuine condition rarities; PCGS has certified only a baker's dozen (10/11). This gleaming coin embodies quality, from the stark cartwheel luster rolling across each side to the orange colors splashed through the centers of otherwise pale yellow surfaces. The coin has only two interior flaws worth mentioning, a tiny mark on Liberty's raised knee and another below the N of IN on the sun disk; these permit identification with the Morse coin. An ideal selection as either a bedrock type coin or, as in its last two collection appearances, an example that makes a commonplace date extraordinary.
Ex: The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage (Heritage, 11/2005), lot 6692, which realized $18,400.
From The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection.
Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26GG, PCGS# 9186)
View all of [The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection ]
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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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