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1930-S Twenty Dollar, A High-End MS63
Akers: 'By Far Rarest of the 1929-1932 Issues'

1930-S $20 MS63 PCGS. Bidding should prove fierce for this Select Mint State 1930-S. David Akers, in his recently published Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins, writes:

"The 1930-S is by far the rarest of the 1929-1932 issues in this series and, discounting the essentially uncollectible 1933, only the 1927-D is rarer when we consider the entire Saint-Gaudens series."

Essentially "rarer than all but the 1927-D" is quite a breathtaking statement for connoisseurs of the series. We could not resist making a comparison:
--For the 1920-S, 1927-D, 1927-S, 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1932, PCGS has certified, in all grades, respectively: 86, 7, 135, 164, 40, 79, 97, and 69 pieces (less duplicates).
--For the 1920-S, 1927-D, 1927-S, 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1932, NGC has certified, in all grades, respectively: 82, 5, 124, 129, 19, 40, 48, and 69 pieces (less duplicates).

If we assume that the certified population reflects the total population, and that all of the issues above have the same percentages of duplicates (both reasonable but not necessarily true assumptions, nor yet provably false), then the data certainly appear to support Akers' astonishing assertion. Even if some issues have many more percentages of duplicates, the differences are compelling.
Like most examples of the 1930-S issue, this piece is sharply struck, with radiant luster over frosty, lovely orange-gold surfaces. At first glance the piece appears finer than the numeric grade, and indeed the high points are largely free of substantial contact. The grade is explained by a fine network of noticeable, but mostly unobtrusive, fine, thin scrapes in the obverse fields, particularly around the right (facing) arm and torch. A nearly horizontal raised die crack, as made, runs inward from the obverse rim at 3 o'clock to a ray of the sun. A small nick appears near one of the left-side obverse rays where it meets Liberty's lower gown. The reverse shows only a few scattered contact marks, and seems high-end for the assigned grade.
From The Vegas Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GM, PCGS# 9191)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
September, 2009
9th-13th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 6,491

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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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