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Lustrous Near-Gem 1927-S Double Eagle

1927-S $20 MS64 PCGS. The Saint-Gaudens double eagle gold piece has the best of both worlds, when one stops to consider. Not only are its surfaces graced by what is generally considered to be America's most beautiful coin design, but it also makes a real statement, with its large size and heft. Somehow, four gold half eagles fail (some might say miserably) to make the same impact as one of these weighty gold double eagles. Perhaps that is why so many collectors pursue rare-date gold, or gold type coins, when they would never consider "lesser" series. The keys and semikeys to the Saint-Gaudens series, like the present near-Gem 1927-S double eagle, are a "badge of accomplishment" for their owners, as Bowers' double eagle Guide Book so aptly puts it.
Although the 1927-S double eagle had one of the highest mintage totals among mintmarked Saint-Gaudens issues, nearly the entire emission was apparently melted in the 1930s gold recalls, leaving precious few choice examples for posterity. As of this writing (11/06), NGC has certified 111 pieces in all grades, with a few in circulated condition. The average grade of those pieces is 61.3. PCGS has graded 124 pieces, also including a few lightly circulated coins, with an average grade of exactly 60. Although a couple of pieces have been certified as high as MS67, most pieces cluster around the lower Mint State levels. When seen, pieces typically have a beveled edge and satiny luster. The present piece offers rich, lustrous orange-gold surfaces with deeper reddish patina around the peripheries, and few mentionable distractions, save for a couple of small, grade-limiting ticks on Liberty's right (facing) calf. Some strike weakness is seen on the lower obverse, also typical for the issue, but the eye appeal is high. Astute aficionados of rare-date gold or the Saint-Gaudens series will need no further prompting. Population: 5 in 64, 9 finer (11/06).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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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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