Select Mint State 1927-S Double Eagle
1927-S $20 MS63 PCGS. During the 1940s, collectors regarded
this issue as the fourth-rarest Saint-Gaudens double eagle after
only the 1924-S, 1926-D, and 1926-S. See the comments of the
cataloger in the Dr. Charles W. Green Collection (B. Max Mehl,
4/1949), lot 882:
Survivor from a Heavily Melted Issue
"1927 $20.00 Gold, San Francisco Mint. Uncirculated with mint luster. Another great rarity. Almost as rare as the 1926-S. I believe there are no fewer than three or four specimens known."
Of course, Mehl meant only three or four specimens were known to him; his grammar was not always equal to his enthusiasm. As gold specialists know all too well, the gold coin shipments returning to the United States from Europe since the 1950s have substantially reordered the rarity scale among later series issues. Despite the emergence of a few examples of the 1927-S, however, numismatists generally believe that no more than 120-140 Mint State specimens survive today.
While most are marred by unsightly spots and/or heavy bagmarks, this Select specimen is certainly among the more attractive examples of the 1927-S. In fact, a couple of marks on Liberty's leg and the eagle's feathers are the only noteworthy disruptions on the otherwise smooth surfaces. The strike is remarkably strong, with abundant frosty brilliance over both the fields and devices. Both sides exhibit soft peripheral shadings of green-gold. In addition to its overall rarity, this piece is also significant among gold enthusiasts as a memorable condition rarity worthy of an equally memorable bid. Population: 25 in 63, 12 finer (5/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GJ, PCGS# 9188)
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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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