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    Frosty Gem 1929 Double Eagle, Rare So Fine

    1929 $20 MS65 PCGS. The 1929 Philadelphia twenty dollar begins a string of renowned low-survival issues that culminate in the magical 1933 coins, one of them legal to own, the other contested pieces currently the subject of hot litigation, cancelled press releases, moves and countermoves.
    All of the 1929-1932 issues, which include the 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1932, are famous among numismatists and collectors of this celebrated series of large gold coins. The 1929 double eagle has a significance that is sometimes overlooked or forgotten, in that it bears the date of the year that began the Great Depression, beginning with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929.
    All of the 1929-32 dates are rare, although the 1929 has seen a few more hoard discoveries and repatriations of overseas holdings than the other issues in the series. Nonetheless, the 1929 should almost be viewed as two separate issues, since in Gem grade or finer it is prohibitively rare. Akers in his updated Handbook writes the following concerning the 1929:

    The 1929 is the least rare of the group in an absolute sense, but it is still a challenging issue to locate in all Mint State grades. When offered in today's market, the 1929 is apt to grade MS-60 to MS-64. The population falls off markedly in MS-65, and the issue is currently unknown any finer than MS-66. In fact, the 1929 is rarer in high grades than the 1931 and 1932.


    The certified data from NGC and PCGS verify Akers' assertion, as barring duplications there are less than two dozen Gems certified, with only a half-dozen or fewer at the MS66 level. This splendid Gem offers swirling luster over frosted surfaces. The obverse is an even orange-gold, while the reverse shows shades of lilac interspersed on the eagle. The strike is sharp if a trifle short of full, but the eye appeal is over the top.
    From The Ralph P. Muller Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GL, PCGS# 9190)


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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    The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
    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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