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MS62 1931-D Double Eagle
Final Mintmarked Melt Rarity
The Hesselgesser Coin

1931-D $20 MS62 PCGS. With the benefit of hindsight, the production of double eagle coins in the early 1930s seems utter madness. The sheer lack of demand is plain in retrospect; only a tiny minority of the pieces ever left government possession. Philadelphia struck more than a million pieces in 1931 and 1932; Denver and San Francisco, perhaps more in tune with local demand, saw significantly smaller mintages in that decade. San Francisco had its turn in 1930 with an issue of 74,000 pieces, while Denver followed the next year with a 106,500-coin mintage.
The 1931-D double eagle, the last issue of its denomination from Denver, carries several unusual quirks. Its D-mint predecessor is the 1927-D, a famed rarity that saw no discernible commercial release, yet a handful of minihoards have appeared overseas for the 1931-D. Despite these survivors, the 1931-D remains a very scarce issue.
Several sources list the most prevalent grades for the 1931-D as MS60 to MS63, yet many of Heritage's previous sales have been for MS64 and better coins, particularly in the last five years. In that way, this MS62 (but what an MS62!) is unusual and a welcome addition to the mix of offerings. Though striking softness shows on Liberty's torch hand and her knee, the all-around detail is pleasing, and despite the light abrasions on each side, this lustrous apricot-to-yellow coin has a far better appearance than many pieces in higher-graded holders. A great opportunity.
Ex: Dr. Robert Hesselgesser Collection (Goldberg, 9/2007), lot 3548.
From The Harvey Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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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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