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    1920-S Indian Eagle, MS61
    Absolute and Condition Rarity

    1920-S $10 MS61 PCGS. The Indian eagle series is riddled with condition rarities, but there are four issues which stand out as absolute keys in any grade. These are the 1933, 1930-S, 1920-S, and 1907 Rolled Edge. Of these, the 1920-S is the only date whose rarity is not directly attributed to government melting. The 1920-S is also distinctive in the group for having the smallest percentage of its surviving population in Uncirculated condition even though the 1933 and 1907 Rolled Edge issues are scarcer overall. Due to the circumstances surrounding their release, the other three issues in this key-date group were recalled and destroyed before any significant quantities could be dispersed into circulation. Therefore, those pieces that were spared for numismatic purposes are mostly Uncirculated and usually show, at the worst, scattered bagmarks. In the case of the 1920-S, however, "survival ... was strictly a matter of chance, and very, very few did survive in any grade," as Garrett and Guth write in their Encyclopedia. Thus, the surviving population of this date is heavily weighted in the AU grades with some pieces as low as XF. Moreover, many representatives are crudely cleaned and/or heavily abraded. Uncirculated examples of this issue are rarer than are those of almost any other date in the series save for the 1933, and when found, can be expected to lack any notable eye appeal.

    This bright, yellow-gold example is a rare Mint State offering, one of just 34 that have appeared in our auctions in more than two decades, including multiple reappearances of previously offered coins. The number of different Uncirculated 1920-S eagles known is likely far less than is suggested by the combined PCGS and NGC population of 59. The Smithsonian Institution has one of the finest-known examples, an MS66 coin, per Garrett and Guth. This piece is lightly abraded but lacks individually distracting marks. A small tick below Liberty's eye will serve as a pedigree identifier. The eagle's right (facing) talons are a trifle soft, but the overall strike is well-executed. Population: 2 in 61, 25 finer (9/15).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28H8, PCGS# 8881)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Oct-Nov, 2015
    29th-1st Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,520

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by Roger Burdette, and edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles is an issue-by-issue examination of this 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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