1931-D $20 MS64 PCGS....
In the case of the 1931-D, the number reportedly produced was 106,500 coins. Excluding the (so far) uncollectible 1933 twenty, of the four remaining issues that conclude the Saint-Gaudens series--the 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, 1932--the 1931-D was at one time considered equally as rare as the 1930-S. Akers' recent Handbook of 20th century gold coins updates the situation:
"Until a small hoard of approximately 15-20 pieces entered the market in the early 1980s, the 1931-D was virtually identical to the 1930-S in both overall and high-grade rarity. Now, however, the 1931-D is more similar to the 1931 and 1932 in terms of total number of coins known. The hoard contained coins that grade only MS-60 to MS-64, however, with the result that the 1931-D is still nearly as rare as the 1930-S in high grades. A few premium-quality Gems have survived, none of which has a distinct advantage over the others as finest known."
This is not to say that the present 1931-D is near-Gem condition is anything but strictly rare, and this piece is certainly a coin that any advanced collector would be thrilled to take possession of. PCGS has certified only 39 pieces in this grade, with 18 finer--as always, minus a number of duplications (3/10). The frosty surfaces here offer delightful reddish-orange coloration predominating. Only a few wispy marks, in particular a small scrape from Liberty's midsection out into the left obverse field, appear to account for the near-Gem grade. The strike is bold, and the softness on the Capitol appears not to be strike softness, but rather perhaps a bit of die filling, as the star in the center of the building is quite sharp. A remarkable example of this storied issue.
From The Carter Family Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)
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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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