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    Popular 1908 Proof Double Eagle, PR66 NGC

    1908 $20 Motto PR66 NGC. First regular year of issue for the new matte finish--an import from Europe and previously only used by the Mint on medals. The proofs of 1908 probably have the most distinctive appearance of all the matte proofs. They are invariably found with deep khaki-green surfaces and have a larger-grain matte finish. To those familiar with the matte proof series, the 1908 could be picked out of a group of other dates. The original mintage was 101 pieces, and of that number we estimate that between 45 and 60 individual proofs are still known today. The 1908 is the most frequently encountered of the matte proof twenties. Nevertheless, it is a singular occasion when such a coin as this is offered for sale at public auction.
    As highly valued and appreciated as matte proof coinage is today, it was not understood and certainly not appreciated at the time of issue. The April 1909 issue of The Numismatist stated that the new coins "...have a very dull appearance,...and are far less appealing to the eye than the coinage for circulation, which is brighter and of lighter color." It is little wonder then that survivorship of any of the 1908-1915 dates does not surpass 50%.
    The surfaces on this piece are exceptionally well preserved. There are no shiny spots. The only markers seen on either side that could be used as pedigree identifiers are: a couple of tiny specks of grease to the right of the T in LIBERTY, a minute half-moon planchet flake located just above Liberty's right (facing) shoulder, and a series of small planchet flakes on the rim above (UNITED S)TATES.
    From The Alexander Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GV, PCGS# 9205)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The Alexander Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2006
    6th-7th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
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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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