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Choice 1929 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
1929 $20 MS64 PCGS. The 1929 inaugurates the final elusive
segment of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series, with every issue
from this year through 1933 being a major rarity. While this issue
is the least rare of this group, it is still a coveted key date
whose appearance at auction is an occasion of note among
specialists. Only a minuscule percentage of the nearly 1.8 million
pieces minted survived the recall of gold coinage in the 1930s.
Famous Late-Date Rarity
Ex: North Shore Collection
The elusive nature of the 1929 was recognized at an early date and its prestige was probably even higher in the 1940s than it is today. The first auction appearance we have been able to locate was in lot 61 of Sale 416 (Morgenthau, 6/1940), which realized $61. Thus, the coin sold for more than three times face value only 11 years after it was minted in an economy that was still feeling the effects of the Great Depression. Auction prices have continued to rise over the years, and recent sales include the MS64+ NGC example in lot 5320 of the FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011) that realized $63,250.
This delightful Choice example was once a highlight of the North Shore Collection, an important gathering of gold coins that included all the rare dates of the regular-issue Saint-Gaudens double eagle series except the 1927-D and the 1933. The coin is still in the same PCGS holder it was in when Heritage sold it in January 2004. This exceptional piece displays vibrant satiny mint luster and sharply detailed design elements throughout. The bright yellow-gold surfaces exhibit a few highlights of rose and are completely free of the copper spots seen on some examples of this date. The surfaces are remarkably free of all but the most insignificant contact marks, suggestive of an even higher grade. Visual appeal is tremendous. Population: 92 in 64 (12 in 64+), 31 finer (10/12).
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 3275.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GL, PCGS# 9190)
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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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