1912 Double Eagle, PR67
1912 $20 PR67 NGC. If proof gold coinage is thought of as
the caviar of numismatics, then proof double eagles must be Beluga
caviar, as they are the largest and most impressive gold
denomination from the classic era of U.S. Mint history. Although
there are also proof Liberty Head double eagles available for a
price -- as recent Heritage auctions have memorably demonstrated --
but some collectors, even for their proof gold wants and needs,
prefer the much-beloved Saint-Gaudens design.
Only 74 Pieces Originally Produced
Any matte proof Saint-Gaudens twenty is rare, regardless of date, and highly desired, despite the fact that few collectors can even dream of owning a single specimen, much less an entire collection.
The 1912 Saint-Gaudens issue was produced in a dark matte finish, yet no so dark as the 1908 pieces and showing thousands of tiny, sparkling grains that constitute the finish -- the product of sandblasting the coins after striking. The recorded production of proof 1912 double eagles is 74 pieces, with perhaps 45 or 50 surviving today.
The 1912 is a date that comes up at auction in proof format more often than some other Saint-Gaudens issues, and as such, the present Superb Gem NGC proof and similar pieces pose an important opportunity for collectors of proof gold. This piece is currently tied at the PR67 level with nearly a dozen other submissions at NGC, and surpassed only by a single incredible PR68 ★ coin. The finest certified at PCGS are six submissions in PR66. Another Superb Gem NGC proof that we offered in our ANA Platinum Night (Heritage, 8/2010), lot 3654, realized $66,125, and a PR67 NGC example in our FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2010), lot 2344, garnered $74,750.
The present piece has a slightly darker finish than the second example from the Virginia Beach Collection. Similar to the surfaces on the other proof, this example is also seemingly flawless with no obvious contact marks or shiny spots. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a proof 1912 twenty, and to choose between two subtly different finishes.
From The Virginia Beach Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GZ, PCGS# 9209)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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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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