Radiant 1931-D Double Eagle, MS641931-D $20 MS64 PCGS. CAC. Only 106,500 double eagles were struck at the Denver Mint in 1931, making this a comparatively low-mintage issue. It is considered a rare date with a surviving field population of 100 to 150 pieces.
David Bowers relates an interesting story about 1931-D double eagles in his American Coin Treasures and Hoards, that reads in part:
"In 1960 a Sidney, New York, businessman took from his bank safety deposit box four 'ordinary' $20 pieces and brought them to a coin dealer, for he had heard there was a premium above face value for all gold coins.
"The dealer glanced at them, found they were all of the extremely rare 1931-D variety and in blazing gem Mint State, showed him the listing in The Guide Book, and expected that the finder would be delighted. Just the opposite occurred. Uncertainty set in--what were they really worth? Could they be sold for more elsewhere? Maybe they shouldn't be sold after all.
"Back into the safe deposit box the rare 1931-D $20 pieces went. Had they been common dates they would have been sold for the current market value at the time, which would have been between $40 and $50."
What happened to those four coins remains a mystery.
A delicate blend of medium peach-gold color with greenish-gold highlights bathes the radiantly lustrous surfaces of this gorgeous near-Gem twenty dollar. The design elements are well brought up, including sharp definition on Liberty's head, branch-hand fingers, and toes, the Capitol building, and the eagle's feathers. It is only the presence of a few minute marks that prevents Gem classification. Population: 39 in 64, 19 finer (11/08).
From The Calvin Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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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
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