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Lovely Near-Gem 1932 Double Eagle

1932 $20 MS64 PCGS. The recently published second edition (2008) of Akers' reference on 20th century gold from 1907-1933 points out that while the 1932 Saint-Gaudens double eagle is rarer than the 1929 and 1931-D issues from an overall standpoint, "it is the most plentiful of the 1929-1932 issues in the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle series in high grade. This is not to imply that the 1932 is a plentiful issue in an absolute sense, for nothing could be farther from the truth. The federal government destroyed virtually the entire mintage within a few years of striking, and fewer than 100 coins have survived. Virtually all of these pieces are Mint State, and most grade MS-63 to MS-66. Superb Gems are unknown at either PCGS or NGC (May/2008)."
Although a year and four months have intervened since that passage was written, unsurprisingly there are still no MS67 examples of the 1932 at either service (8/09). The certified populations at both NGC and PCGS are about equally divided between the numbers of MS64 coins, versus the total number in MS65 and MS66: NGC has certified 21 MS64s, with 26 finer (finest four MS66 Star pieces), while PCGS has certified 25 MS64s, with 35 finer (finest seven MS66s). It is certain that those numbers include duplicates.
The surfaces of this lovely near-Gem reveal a few scattered marks on the high points of Liberty's legs and torso that seemingly account for the grade. Radiant luster is abundant throughout the orange-orange surfaces, which deepen on the reverse to a couple of reddish-orange areas. A small dark toning spot is noted near the reverse rim at 8 o'clock. An eye-appealing and well-struck piece. Population: 25 in 64, 35 finer (8/09).
From The Vegas Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GR, PCGS# 9194)

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Auction Dates
September, 2009
9th-13th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bids: 5
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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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