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    Richly Contrasted 1907 Liberty Twenty, PR64 Cameo
    Only Three Finer at PCGS

    1907 $20 Liberty PR64 Cameo PCGS. The 1907 Liberty Head double eagles are simultaneously the last of their design and numismatic anachronisms, as the first proofs of the Saint-Gaudens designs, the Ultra High Relief twenties, were struck in February of that same year. The 1907 Libertys are popular with the many type collectors who focus on last-year issues. They are also in demand because they can occasionally be found in high proof grades, as here, due to their original mintage of 78 recorded pieces. It is likely that the Mint actually sold most of the issue to collectors, who were in turn more likely to hang onto them as the last of their kind.
    The Breen Proof Encyclopedia notes of the issue, "Popular final year of the design; becoming appreciated as such. Date almost centered, slants up; 'broken nose' as in 1906."
    Given the combined certified populations at NGC and PCGS, we concur with Garrett and Guth's assertion that about 40 to 50 specimens survive today, including a few impaired proofs and all contrast levels, although 60 examples is not out of the question.
    The "broken nose" feature is an area of brilliance at the top or bridge portion of Liberty's nose. The feature is clearly visible on the examples in this auction as well as the piece depicted in the Breen reference.
    The U.S. Mint after 1901 altered the way in which it manufactured proof gold coins, which earlier featured deeply mirrored fields, created through polishing the dies to high brilliance, and (usually) frosted devices, the areas in the die that were recessed. The later style, which Breen's Proof Encyclopedia called "semibrilliant," was created merely by polishing the devices -- the recessed areas of each die -- which greatly reduced the contrast between them and the fields.
    As such, the noticeable field-device contrast present on this piece is a "rarity on a rarity," as few survivors boast such surfaces. The devices are well-frosted on both sides and the fields well-mirrored, with rich orange-gold coloration prevailing when the coin is viewed straight on, and the desired gold-on-black contrast when the piece is angled. A small toning spot near the rim between stars 2 and 3 is scarcely perceptible on this piece, which is fully struck. We also note a small area of gray patina just above the eagle's right (facing) wing. Population: 9 in 64 Cameo, 3 finer (3/11).(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 26EV, PCGS# 89123)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2011
    27th-1st Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,492

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