Near-Gem 1926-D Double Eagle
1926-D $20 MS64 PCGS. For collectors in the pre-1974 era,
whose ownership of almost any gold coin was perched tenuously on a
numismatic exception to a blanket prohibition on possessing gold as
a monetary instrument, knowledge of and access to the late-date
Saint-Gaudens branch mint issues was spotty at best. It was not
until after the first tide of repatriated twenties came back from
Europe that collectors started getting a true picture of each
date's rarity. For example, Akers (1988) gives a historical note
about the 1926-D issue:
Important Melt Rarity
"At one time, the 1926-D was considered to be a much greater rarity than the 1927-D. Until the early 1950s, only the 1924-S was thought to be more rare, and only a half dozen or so examples of this issue were known. A few were discovered from time to time after that but never any hoards, not even small ones."
Of course, not even single coins turned up for the 1927-D, which has emerged as a million-dollar rarity regardless of condition (which, as with the 1926-D, is almost invariably Mint State). While the 1926-D does not rise to such lofty heights, Saint-Gaudens enthusiasts are well aware of its rarity, particularly above the Select level. This near-Gem has a decent strike, though it is a trifle soft on Liberty's fingers and toes. Wheat-gold luster has elements of apricot and yellow under a thin layer of patina. Both sides are relatively clean overall, though a few small parallel nicks on the rock under Liberty's foot are grade-defining. Population: 20 in 64, 4 finer (7/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)
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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