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1931-D Twenty, MS64
An Impressive, Satin-Surfaced Example

1931-D $20 MS64 PCGS. The 1931-D double eagle is the last D-mint in the Saint-Gaudens series, and the only one from that mint since the fabled 1927-D issue. The 1931-D is similar in its certified populations to the 1931 Philadelphia issue, except that the 1931-D is rarer in Gem condition. The latest edition (2008) of the Akers Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins offers these comments on the 1931-D:

"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 the finest known."

The single finest certified example at PCGS is the MS66+ example in the Dr. Steven Duckor Collection ("second set," as listed in the PCGS Set Registry), a piece that, Akers' comments above notwithstanding, deserves special mention in any case. (The earlier 1988 edition of the Akers' Handbook singled this coin out: "The Dr. Steven Duckor coin, formerly in the Amon Carter, Jr. Collection, is certainly the prettiest 1931-D I have seen. Its color and lustre are extraordinary for a 1931-D.")
The present specimen displays bright surfaces with uniform orange-gold color and satiny luster. The strike is strong, but not quite complete in all areas, and there are no mentionable abrasions on either side of this impressive near-Gem.
From The Virginia Beach Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)

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Auction Dates
June, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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