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Amazing 1927-S Double Eagle, MS66, One of the Finest Known And A Coin That Has Been Off The Market For Fifty Years

1927-S $20 MS66 NGC. Like many other issues in the Saint-Gaudens series from the 1920s and 1930s, the 1927-S had a substantial mintage. In this case, 3.1 million pieces were produced in the San Francisco mint in this year. However, almost the entire mintage was melted in the 1930s. In the 1940s the 1927-S was considered the fourth scarcest issue in the series and was thought to be even more elusive than the 1927-D. In the 1950s that perception began to change, however, as one or two pieces at a time began to show up in European gold holdings. But, like the 1926-D, it never appeared in any quantity. Very few examples are known today in all grades, and it is always a focal point of any auction. In his 1988 book, A Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins, David Akers ranked the 1927-S as tenth of the 54 issues in the series in overall rarity, and 14th in the series in MS64 or better grades.
This is a superlative example, and even a casual glance shows that this coin is decidedly better than MS65. The surfaces display bright satiny mint luster and are well struck throughout. Close examination with a magnifier shows a couple of shallow marks on each side, but one would be hard pressed to find any that could be used as pedigree identifiers. The coin has a lovely orange-gold coloration with a faint trace of lilac interspersed. Struck from an intermediate die state, there is just the slightest evidence of die bulging evident below the lettering in LIBERTY on the obverse, and a die crack runs through the eagle's beak on the reverse.
Only a small handful of 1927-S twenties are known today better than MS65. Only two other pieces have been so graded by NGC with two finer (11/03), while PCGS has only certified one coin in MS66 with one piece finer (10/03). It has been nine years since Heritage has handled a high grade 1927-S. In 1995 we sold an MS67 for $181,500. This particular piece just recently surfaced at the Long Beach show and was consigned there to the National Money Show Auction. It is fresh and has not appeared in any recent auctions or price lists as it has been off the market for more than 50 years. A wonderful opportunity for the specialist in the Saint-Gaudens series of double eagles. (#9188) (Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)

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Auction Dates
March, 2004
24th-27th Wednesday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 632

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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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