Key 1932 Twenty Dollar, MS66
1932 $20 MS66 PCGS. The 1932, representing the last readily
collectible Saint-Gaudens double eagle, is one of the most desired
issues in the series. Estimates vary on the number of survivors out
of the original 1,101,750-piece mintage. Walter Breen writes in the
Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins that
possibly 22 to 25 examples exist, almost all Uncirculated. David
Bowers, in the Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins,
estimates that between 60 to 80 coins are extant. David Akers, in
his cataloging of the Gem Uncirculated 1932 twenty dollar gold
piece from the Dr. Thaine Price Collection, gives a similar
estimate of surviving examples (see below).
Tied for Finest Certified
Akers presents an in-depth assessment of the rarity status of the 1932 double eagle:
"... A number of years ago, it was, for some reason, fashionable to consider the 1932 double eagle the rarest of the late date Saint-Gaudens double eagles, and the 1932 often sold for a significant premium over the prices realized by the other issues. That situation has been corrected, however, and now it is generally agreed that the 1932 is more rare in terms of the total number of specimens known than only the 1929 and 1931-D. There are certainly fewer 1930-S double eagles in existence than there are 1932, and the 1931 also seems to be a little more scarce than the 1932 in terms of population rarity. With respect to condition rarity, however, the situation is a little different. The 1932 is slightly more rare than the 1931 in Gem Uncirculated condition, but less rare than the 1931-D and even the 1929. (The 1930-S is the uncontested late date champion in terms of both population rarity and condition rarity.) Perhaps as many as 70-80 examples are known of this issue. Most are quite nice and many of them grade Very Choice Uncirculated, or at least Choice Uncirculated. True Gems, however, are very rare with approximately 13-16 pieces known."
Of the 142 1932 specimens that have been seen by PCGS and NGC to date, all are in Mint State, particularly in MS64 and MS65 (88 pieces). In MS66 there have been 22 coins certified MS66, and none finer. The frequency of appearance of 1932 double eagles at auction more or less reflects the PCGS/NGC population data. MS64 and MS65 pieces have made slightly over 40 appearances within the last 17 years, while MS66-graded specimens have appeared 18 times over the same time period. Undoubtedly there are numerous repeat offerings included in these numbers.
An overall strong strike on the current MS66 specimen shows good definition on Liberty's facial features and fingers, and on the eagle's plumage. The creamy, frosty surfaces display attractive hues of greenish-gold highlighted with an occasional splash of orange, and radiate pleasing luster. There are no contact marks worthy of individual mention. A small alloy spot on the lower left obverse between the eighth and ninth rays that are located close to the gown may help in identification of the coin. Population: 8 in 66, 0 finer (2/10).
From The Carter Family Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GR, PCGS# 9194)
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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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