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High-End MS64 1931-D Saint-Gaudens Twenty

1931-D $20 MS64 PCGS. CAC. Certain issues, especially in the double eagle series, have experienced a sudden and unexpected availability. Type One twenties were formerly almost unobtainable in mint condition, and now several dates are available in grades through MS66. This, of course, is because of the salvage of gold-laden ships from California. It is highly unlikely that any such "guardian angel" exists for the 1931-D twenty. The 100-150 pieces believed known are most likely to be the only ones that will ever be available to collectors.
Among collectors of this series, the conditional availability of such rarities as the 1931-D is seldom discussed. Those who specialize in this series are generally happy with any 1931-D that is available and that they can afford. But here is something to consider regarding this piece: Several dozen pieces have been certified in MS64; in fact, a total of 60 submission events when one combines both of the major services. Above this level, only 16 pieces have been graded. Therefore, the savvy collector would most likely regard a high-end MS64 as the best value. That is just what this piece is. Examination of the clean surfaces shows that, and it is also confirmed by the CAC endorsement.
To the unaided eye, there is only one mark on each side that keeps this magnificent piece from the Gem category. On the obverse there is a horizontal mark across Liberty's upper thigh, and on the reverse one diagonal abrasion is seen on the wing of the eagle. The devices are fully struck throughout, and the mint luster is bright and satiny with a pronounced reddish tinge. Population: 39 in 64, 19 finer (6/08).
From The Pierson MacDonald Grieve Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)

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Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2008
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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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