Rare and Desirable 1927-S Premium Gem Double Eagle1927-S $20 MS66 PCGS. The 1927-S double eagle stands out as one of the rarest and best-known issues of the Saint-Gaudens series, despite the fact that 3.1 million pieces were produced. The key status of the '27-S is based on absolute rarity rather than conditional rarity. PCGS and NGC have certified about 220 examples in all grades, some of which are undoubtedly resubmissions. David Akers, in his cataloging of the May 19, 1998 sale of the Dr. Thaine Price Collection, says: "The 1927-S double eagle is one of the most revered issues in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series, and most known specimens are either high grade circulated examples or low grade Mint State pieces. Choice and Very Choice Uncirculated 1927-S double eagles are very rare and Gems are extremely rare. Looking back in history to the late 1940's and early 1950's, the 1927-S occupied an even more exalted position in the series than it does today. At that time, it was generally regarded as the fourth or fifth rarest issue in the series after the 1924-S, 1926-D and 1926-S, more or less on a par with the 1931-D. It was then considered to be even more rare than the 1927-D, which today is regarded as the premier issue in the series, as well as such now famous issues as 1920-S, 1921, 1930-S, 1931 and 1932. However, as was the case with many of the Saint-Gaudens issues that were thought to be ultra-rare, a small number of 1927-S double eagles trickled out of European banks over the next 20 years, although no really substantial quantities of this issue were ever found. Nevertheless, enough 'new' specimens came onto the market to reduce its overall rarity level from 'extremely rare', as was described by B. Max Mehl in the famous Dr. Charles W. Green sale in 1949, to the 'rare' status it holds today. In Gem condition, however, and especially in the superb condition represented by this specimen (the PCGS-graded MS66 coin in the Price sale), Mehl's earlier 'extremely rare' description of the 1927-S is still valid." The population data corroborate Akers' assessment of the rarity level of high-end Uncirculated examples of the 1927-S. Only 11 coins have been graded MS65, six specimens have been assigned MS66, and a mere three pieces rated MS67.
The presently-offered Premium Gem displays peach-gold patina that is accompanied on the obverse by tinges of light tan, and on the reverse by subtle yellow-green undertones and occasional splashes of orange color. Attractive luster radiates from both faces, and the motifs are well impressed. The Capitol building, which is typically weak on this issue, exhibits nice detail in most of the panes. Liberty's facial features, the fingers on both hands, the toes, and the eagle's plumage are all sharp. A solitary light copper spot in the lower left obverse field and a small mark in the middle of Liberty's outstretched left arm may help in the coin's pedigree. This outstanding piece is sure to generate spirited bidding among aficionados of rare-date Saint-Gaudens coinage, and clearly one of the highlights among the double eagles of the Kutasi Collection. Population: 2 in 66, 1 finer (11/06).
From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N1) (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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