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Celebrated 1927-S Double Eagle, MS641927-S $20 MS64 NGC. Once considered to be among the rarest Saint-Gaudens issues, the 1927-S is today still viewed as a key date in the series, if not in the "virtually impossible" category of the 1927-D and the (so far) near-uncollectible 1933-dated coins. Over the years Heritage has been privileged to offer quite a number of 1927-S double eagles, including a couple in the present sale. The finest we have ever offered was the MS67 NGC specimen that came from the Museum of Connecticut History (6/1995, lot 6027), one that brought $181,500 back in 1995, a phenomenal price for that time (for a phenomenal coin) that was the finest certified. More recently that same 1927-S, crossed to an MS67 PCGS holder, brought $345,000 in our auction of the Phillip H. Morse Collection (11/2005, lot 6698).
The 1927-S has always been a popular issue as well due to its association with the celebrated 1927-D double eagle, one of the rarest gold coins of the 20th century. We have also handled the 1927-D MS66 PCGS example from the Museum of Connecticut History (and others) on more than one occasion, most recently in our FUN auction where it brought $1.495 million (1/2010, lot 2331).
While this near-Gem 1927-S is not quite in the same otherworldly class of those above, it is still extremely elusive at the MS64 grade level. This coin would fit well into a mostly Gem set with no apology. The total certified population at NGC and PCGS combined is 22 coins, with 19 finer--and both totals are certain to represent numerous duplications.
The 1927-S as a rule comes sharply struck, and this example is no exception. The strike is uniformly bold throughout. Bright, radiant mint luster is the order of the day. Although a few small surface marks prevent a Gem grade, a glass is needed to detect them. A marvelous, lustrous example of this issue, one that is justly celebrated today. Census: 17 in 64, 11 finer (3/10).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)
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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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