1927-S MS 67 NGC. The 1927-S was at one time considered the fourth scarcest issue in the Saint-Gaudens series of twenties. In the 1940s it was thought to be even more elusive than the 1927-D. In the 1950s that perception began to change, however, as one or two pieces at a time began to show up in European gold holdings. But, like the 1926-D, it never appeared in any quantity. Over the past four decades, the population of survivors has risen to the present level of somewhere around 60 known specimens. It is still one of the key issues in the Saint-Gaudens series with Akers rating the '27-S as tenth among the 54 issues in the set.
When a 1927-S is occasionally seen, it is usually a memorable coin as most examples are uncirculated and display highly lustrous surfaces. This is a coin of singular distinction, though, even among 1927-S twenties. Among all the rare, late date twenties from the Connecticut Public Library this coin has the most extraordinary surfaces. It is the finest '27-S graded by either of the major services, and it is undoubtedly the finest example known. The coin is virtually perfect. The mint luster is bright and fully frosted, racing around the surfaces as it is tilted beneath a light. With the aid of a magnifier it is possible to find a few microscopic marks on each side. However, with the unaided eye we only note three minor imperfections. The first and most obvious is a small copper alloy spot in the right obverse field. Such stains are quite prevalent on '27-S twenties and this is the only one on this coin. If this is the worst flaw on the coin, it is really not saying much. Second, there is a tiny mark on the eighth ray on the obverse (counting from left to right). Third, a slightly curved scrape is noted on the sun. As it runs parallel to the rim, we believe this is probably some sort of mint made flaw, possibly having to do with ejection from the die. That being said, we must confess this is one of the most attractive business strike Saints we have ever seen, regardless of date. This issue is often seen weakly struck, but this coin shows every nuance of definition that was engraved into the dies. It also lacks the often seen die crack on the right side of the obverse. Altogether a spectacular example of this rare issue. This is a singular opportunity for the advanced collector of this series to acquire what is unquestionably the finest known 1927-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle. (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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