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    1930-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS66
    Rarest of the 'Late-Date' Saints
    Ex: Connecticut State Library

    1930-S $20 MS66 NGC. The last five collectible issues of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series (1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1932) are widely known as the "late-date" Saints and each of these issues is a celebrated rarity in the series. However, even among these elite rarities, the 1930-S stands out as the most elusive, sought-after date of the group. In fact, discounting the uncollectible 1933, the 1930-S is the second-rarest regular-issue Saint-Gaudens double eagle, behind the ultra-rare 1927-D. Heritage Auctions is pleased to offer this spectacular Condition Census example in just its second auction appearance.

    Unlike many challenging issues of the series, which were produced in large numbers, but saw their substantial production totals decimated by melting, the 1930-S claims a small mintage of just 74,000 pieces. Of course, the 1930-S also experienced the catastrophic melting that overtook all U.S. gold coinage after the Gold Recall of 1933. Most of the small mintage was held in Mint or Treasury vaults at the time of issue, to serve as currency reserves. It seems none were sent to Federal Reserve Banks for commercial distribution. However, 502 specimens were sent to the Treasurer's Office in Washington, D.C. for potential sale to collectors. In addition, 160 examples were held by the San Francisco Mint Cashier, for use in everyday transactions, and 65 untested assay coins were eventually released to the Philadelphia Mint Cashier for similar purposes. Thus, only 727 coins were actually available for possible collector use, and few of those ever fell into numismatic hands. The vast majority of the small mintage remained in government storage until the Gold Recall took effect and the coins were subsequently melted and stored as gold bars in the Fort Knox Bullion Repository. Roger W. Burdette estimates the surviving population at about 75 examples, while PCGS CoinFacts postulates a similar total of 50 to 75 specimens extant. NGC and PCGS have combined to certify a total of 70 submissions in all grades, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (5/20). We have listed the 17 high-grade specimens known to us in the roster below.

    We have traced the history of the coin offered here all the way back to its time of issue. This piece was acquired directly from the Office of the Treasurer in 1930 by the Connecticut State Librarian, George Seymore Godard. Godard acted as the curator of the J. C. Mitchelson Collection, which had been bequeathed to the Library by its owner in 1911. Godard faithfully updated the collection every year by obtaining two examples of each U.S. coin denomination from all active U.S. Mints. This coin remained in the Library's holdings until it was deaccessioned in June 1995 and sold in a memorable auction through Heritage. It has not been publicly offered since.

    The present coin is a magnificent Premium Gem, the single-finest certified example at NGC (5/20). This piece exhibits sharply detailed design elements throughout, with fine definition on Liberty's facial features and the eagle's feathers. The impeccably preserved orange-gold surfaces radiate vibrant mint luster, with outstanding eye appeal. This coin has been off the market for 25 years and it may be years before a comparable specimen becomes available. Census: 1 in 66, 0 finer (5/20).

    1930-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Roster of High Grade Examples
    The following roster includes all examples we are aware of that grade MS65, or better, or that we believe would grade that high if they were certified. The grades for the coins in the National Numismatic Collection are per Garrett and Guth. Other grades are from the last auction appearance, unless a more recent certification event is known.
    1. MS66+ PCGS. CAC. Phillip H. Morse Collection (Heritage, 11/2005), lot 6709, realized $207,000, Bella Collection PCGS Registry Set; ANA Rarities Night Auction (Stack's Bowers, 8/2019), lot 5389, realized $372,000.
    2. MS66+ PCGS. Purchased by David Akers around 1989, having been off the market for 40 years; Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 119, realized $126,500; Philip H. Morse Collection, Part II (Heritage, 12/2005), lot 2080, incorrectly identified as from the Pittman Collection on the holder, and the image in the catalog is actually the other Morse coin from the 11/2005 sale; realized $253,000; FUN Signature Auction (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3307, realized $230,000.
    3. MS66+ PCGS. Pictured on PCGS CoinFacts.
    4. MS66 NGC. Probably purchased in 1930 by George Seymore Godard, the Connecticut State Librarian, through the Treasury Department; Museum of Connecticut History Collection (Heritage, 6/1995), lot 6031, realized $90,200. The present coin.
    5. MS66 PCGS. The "Dallas Bank" Collection (Sotheby's, 10/2001), lot 185, Rollo Fox Collection; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2020), lot 4050, realized $264,000. Akers plate coin, pictured on PCGS CoinFacts.
    6. MS66 PCGS. CAC. Coin dealer Ed Hipps; purchased by Dr. Stephen Duckor in 1980; Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Duckor Collection (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 4649, realized $230,000.
    7. MS66 PCGS. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 5/1999), lot 3884; Baltimore Signature Auction (Heritage, 7/2003), lot 10918; Pittsburgh ANA Signature Auction (Heritage, 8/2004), lot 7818; Exclusively Internet Auction (Heritage, 9/2004), lot 13052; Baltimore ANA Signature Auction (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 2129, realized $253,000; Snap Daddy Saint NGC Registry Set.
    8. MS65+ PCGS. Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 7/2006), lot 1734; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Ira & Larry Goldberg, 9/2009), lot 3561; Anaheim Collection (Ira & Larry Goldberg, 1/2010), lot 2702; (Bowers and Merena, 6/2010), lot 4144; Park Avenue Collection. Akers' Handbook plate coin, Pictured on PCGS CoinFacts.
    9. MS65 PCGS. Louis Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg estate; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 1071; Collector's Auction (Scotsman, 10/2008), lot 866.
    10. MS65 PCGS. FUN Signature Auction (Heritage, 1/2010), lot 2337, realized $207,000.
    11. MS65 PCGS. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 2/1999), lot 3595, realized $58,650; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 9/2014), lot 3512; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2018), lot 5182.
    12. MS65 PCGS. Springdale Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 6/2006), lot 2787.
    13. MS65 PCGS. Donald E Bently; Bently Collection (Heritage, 3/2014), lot 30509.
    14. MS65 PCGS. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Ira & Larry Goldberg, 5/2011), lot 1864, realized $158,125.
    15. Choice Brilliant Uncirculated Uncertified. Charlotte Collection (Stack's, 3/1991), lot 1221, realized $115,000.
    16. Uncertified, estimated as MS68 by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth. A coin in the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection, purchased directly from the San Francisco Mint.
    17. Uncertified, estimated as MS65 by Garrett and Guth. Another specimen in the National Numismatic Collection, possibly from the Josiah K. Lilly bequest.
    From The Collection of a Distinguished WW2 Veteran. (Registry values: N1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26GM, PCGS# 9191)

    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 Collection of a Distinguished WW2 Veteran ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,781

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    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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