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    1928 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS67+
    The Single Finest at PCGS

    1928 $20 MS67+ PCGS Secure. CAC. From 1928 on, the vast majority of double eagles were produced at Philadelphia. Only two low-production branch mint issues were struck in that time period: The 1930-S had a mintage of 74,000 pieces, and the 1931-D saw 106,500 pieces made. By contrast, the Philadelphia issues maintained million-plus mintages through 1932, a streak cut short by executive order in 1933. The highest mintage of them all came in 1928, when the Philadelphia Mint struck more than 8.8 million double eagles. It was the highest mintage for any U.S. gold coin, eclipsing the production for the famous-as-a-type-coin 1904 Liberty double eagle, and it still holds the record today.
    Based on output alone, the 1928 would be the most logical With Motto Saint-Gaudens date to collect as a type issue, and the date is indeed priced-to-type. Yet the price is misleading in its own way, for the 1928 double eagle is significantly less available than a number of its peers (though still far more accessible than most issues). Its combined NGC and PCGS certified population, 93,751 pieces and counting as of (10/11), seems impressive, yet it is dwarfed by the half-million-plus certified examples of the 1924. The 1908 No Motto and 1927 double eagles both weigh in at roughly a quarter-million coins themselves. The closest comparable certified population is that of the 1925, which checks in at a couple hundred coins fewer -- and the 1925 has a mintage of slightly over 2.8 million pieces, which points to the earlier date's better survival rate.
    Of course, merely being a high-mintage date is not an instant ticket to widespread availability, especially where the later Saint-Gaudens twenties are concerned. The great equalizer (or perhaps great randomizer) is the pattern of international commerce that sent millions of gold coins overseas and out of the reach of the Roosevelt Administration's gold recall. The pattern was centered on the Northeast and the great commercial nexus of New York City, and double eagles from the nearby Philadelphia Mint were far more likely to survive in European storage (the greatest source of repatriation) than were coins from mountainous Denver or Pacific-facing San Francisco. Time, too, has its role: The 1927 double eagle saw widespread overseas use, but the 1928 twenty had less opportunity for a commercial jaunt before the debilitating Great Depression of 1929. The 1928 is the last issue to be available in type quantities, and any later-dated coin is a melt rarity commanding a five-figure price.
    Almost all of today's 1928 double eagles had to survive at least two transatlantic crossings, and so it comes as little surprise that the population is skewed toward the lower and middle Mint State grades, especially MS63 and MS64. The PCGS Population Report shows MS67 coins, or Superb Gems, as borderline condition rarities; the service has certified only 69 pieces in that condition, and none in MS68 or better (10/11). It has also encapsulated a single MS67+ example, the present coin; thus, for Registry Set collecting purposes, there is no better 1928 double eagle.
    Identification with the Jay Brahin Registry Set specimen is thanks to the stunning patterns of orange color on a pale wheat-gold backdrop: The obverse has orange from Liberty's shoulders down her body and out into the right field, while the eagle is "striped" with narrow windows of wheat between three broad vertical strokes of orange. The detail, if not perfectly sharp on Liberty's torch hand, is more than adequate, and the combination of careful presentation and stunning, colorful luster grants this coin inestimable eye appeal. A coin to remember.
    Ex: Jay Brahin Saints (PCGS Registry Set, retired 7/2006).
    NB Please also see the fascinating and historic Mint bag for 1928 double eagles, offered as a separate lot in this Platinum Night session.
    From The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection.
    Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.(Registry values: N4719)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26GK, PCGS# 9189)

    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 Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    4th-8th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,626

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by Roger Burdette, and edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles is an issue-by-issue examination of this 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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