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Description

Select 1927-S Saint-Gaudens Twenty
Scarce, In-Demand Key

1927-S $20 MS63 PCGS. The 1927-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle is typical of the later series issues in that its large mintage of 3.1 million pieces provides no real clue to its availability today. The great majority of the mintage was never released from storage and perished in the great Gold Recall of the 1930s. Insiders believe less than 4,000 examples were actually released into circulation, with 160-170 specimens surviving in all grades. Recent population data indicates the issue is rare at the Select level. To date, PCGS has certified 24 coins in MS63, with 12 finer; NGC has graded only 13 specimens in this grade, with 28 finer (6/10). Of course, these figures may be distorted by resubmissions and crossovers.
Fifty years ago, the prestige of the 1927-S was even higher than it is today. At that time, the 1927-S was considered ultra-rare, the fourth rarest date of the series. The story of European hoards of U.S. gold coins coming to light in the second half of the 20th century is well documented, and the effects of those finds on rarity estimates of Saint-Gaudens double eagles are well known. Suffice it to say, while a trickle of 1927-S Saints emerged from these sources, no significant quantities were ever unearthed at one time. The 1927-S is not an "impossible" rarity today, but it remains a scarce key date in the Saint-Gaudens series.
The present coin is an attractive Select example of this scarce date, with abundant visual appeal and none of the copper spots that often mar the surfaces of the issue. The striking details are razor-sharp on the central design, but the peripheral devices are not as crisply detailed, possibly due to die deterioration. The bright greenish-gold surfaces radiate frosty mint luster, creating outstanding eye appeal. A scattering of individually insignificant handling marks on both sides explains the grade.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
11th-15th
Internet/Mail/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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