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Impressive, Rare Premium Gem 1929
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

1929 $20 MS66 PCGS. Various experts have different opinions regarding the number of 1929 double eagles that still exist. While the original mintage was 1,779,750 coins, most remained in the hands of the Treasury and were melted after gold was recalled in 1933. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth wrote: "The last readily obtainable Saint-Gaudens double eagle is the 1928 issue. Beginning with the 1929 double eagle and continuing through the 1933 issue, any collector who undertakes obtaining these issues does so with extreme care and financial fortitude. As seen on earlier mintmarked issues, the 1929 double eagle was summarily rounded up and melted down in the 1930s. Few examples of this issue had left the country at this time, as the world economies sunk into a deepening depression, which started in mid-1929 with contracting trade and was loudly announced by the American stock market crash on October 29, 1929." Expert opinions vary regarding the number of surviving pieces, ranging from 60 to 1,750. Only 314 pieces have been certified by NGC and PCGS (3/09), however, suggesting that the estimate that 1,750 coins still exist is unrealistically high.
What is not open to debate is the number of coins that survive in Gem or finer grades. For example, PCGS has certified just 22 pieces in MS65 and five more in MS66, for a total of 27 coins. At the same time, NGC has graded exactly four Gem MS65 grade coins and only one MS66 piece.
As we wrote in our Phillip Morse catalog (11/2005): "The astute collector, with patience and the concomitant finances, should be able to acquire a better Mint State 1929. Furthermore, such a coin is likely to exude considerable eye appeal. According to Akers (1988) and Bowers, the typical 1929 is nearly always very sharply struck, is fully frosty, and very lustrous. Most specimens are a medium to rich greenish-gold or yellow-gold color, sometimes with faint rose or orange overtones." This Premium Gem seems to match the description from our Morse catalog in terms of individual appearance with extremely sharp design elements, highly lustrous and fully brilliant frosty surfaces, and exceptional yellow-gold color. It is also finer than either of the Morse coins, which graded MS65 and MS64.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26GL, PCGS# 9190)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
28th-3rd Tuesday-Sunday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 950

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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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