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    Superb Matte Proof 1913 Twenty
    A Magnificent Example

    1913 $20 PR67 NGC. The production of matte proof gold continued to decline in 1913. The mintages from 1911 through 1915 indicate that the core number of collectors for these coins varied between 50 and 100. In 1913 only 58 proof twenties were produced. The overall level of preservation is quite high for the 1913, rivaled only by the 1908 and 1911. Because of the high level of preservation and lack of attrition compared to other years, the 1913 proof twenty ranks sixth of the 10 sandblast and "Roman" finish proofs in both overall and high-grade rarity. Both major services combined have graded 72 coins, a number obviously representing numerous resubmissions. Our best estimate is that no more than 35-40 different coins survive today.
    The sandblast surface of this coin has even finer granules than the 1912 in the Ferrari Collection. While the finish on the 1913 proof twenty is sometimes compared to that on the 1908 in the standard literature for the series, that is not our experience from this group of coins. The 1908's texture is significantly coarser than the 1912 or the present 1913. This piece also displays atypical color; the references lead one to expect a brownish-gold or khaki-gold coin, but this example is much closer to a reddish-tinted yellow-gold. When closely examining the coin with a magnifier one has to wonder why, despite its already lofty grade level, it is not graded even higher. We note two "imperfections," one on each side. On the seventh ray on the right of the obverse, above the 9 in the date, a tiny cluster of what appear to be specks of grease was struck into the coin during manufacture. On the reverse, another fleck of grease was struck into the end of the eagle's tailfeathers. Most 1913 proof twenties show a partial wire rim around both sides, especially the reverse. This piece shows a complete wire rim around the reverse, with none on the obverse. One curious feature we have never noticed in the past (and the literature does not mention) is the reverse has a slight clockwise rotation relative to the obverse. This may be a unique occurrence among 1913 proof twenties, perhaps in the entire series.
    For sheer visual impact, this magnificent coin is one of the finest (maybe the finest) example in this extraordinary set of proof twenties.
    From The Ralph P. Muller Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# BNLD, PCGS# 9210)

    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 Ralph P. Muller Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
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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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