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Magnificent 1927-S Double Eagle, MS65
Ex: Duckor; Brahin

1927-S $20 MS65 PCGS. The 1927-S has long been recognized as a key date in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series. In 1949, Max Mehl believed there were only three or four specimens known. The coin was generally regarded as the fourth rarest date of the design type, behind the 1924-S, 1926-D and 1926-S. This issue gradually became more available as individual examples leaked out of European bank holdings in the 1950s and 1960s. The issue never surfaced in hoard quantities, however, and its decline in the rarity rankings has been gradual. In recent times, David Akers ranks it as the 10th rarest coin in the 55-coin series. Most examples are in AU or lower Mint State grades. At the Gem level, this issue remains very rare and sought after.
Prominent collector Stephen Duckor was kind enough to provide an account of this coin's history while it was in his remarkable collection. Dr. Duckor remembers purchasing the coin from New England Rare Coin Auctions sometime around 1979 (actually Boston Jubilee Auction, 7/1980, lot 367). At that time, the cataloger graded this specimen MS66 and stated, "Possibly the finest known." Third-party grading was still far in the future, and Dr. Duckor was able to examine the coin in its natural state. He found it to be completely natural, undipped, and noted a beveled rim on the reverse. This beveled rim is a characteristic that occurs frequently on coins produced at the San Francisco Mint during the 1920s. Dr. Duckor retained this coin in his collection for 26 years before selling it to Jay Brahin in 2006. Brahin retained it in his collection until he sold it to the current consignor a year later. A pedigree to either the Duckor or Brahin Collections is extremely important. A pedigree to both collections is a mark of distinction for any coin.
The present coin features a strong strike, with good detail in all the design elements. This is an important consideration with the issue; many examples display a weak strike and crumbling rims. Smooth, satiny luster radiates from the coin's surfaces. The rich coloration is predominantly orange-gold, but shades of mint-green and reddish-orange play on each side, more boldly on the reverse. The fields have minimal distractions, as expected at the MS65 level. A tiny bit of struck-in die grease, between the eagle's wing and the letters DO of DOLLARS, can be used as a pedigree marker. Overall, this example displays outstanding eye appeal. Beauty, rarity, and an illustrious pedigree make this coin a prize for the advanced collector.
Ex: New England Rare Coin Auctions (7/1980), lot 367; Dr. Steven Duckor (2006); Jay Brahin (2007).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)

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Auction Dates
September, 2008
17th-21st Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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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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