1931-D Twenty Dollar, MS65
    A Mass-Melted Issue, Among the Finest Known

    1931-D $20 MS65 NGC. The rarity of this final Denver mint issue is readily evident to all collectors of the Saint-Gaudens series of twenties. Even though 106,500 pieces were recorded as struck in 1931, all but a few dozen were melted by 1937 and converted into gold ingots. The 1931-D has been regarded as a rare, key issue, even in the late-1930s. Akers referred to a group of 15 to 20 examples that surfaced in the mid-1980s as a "hoard." Contrary to his contention that this group surfaced in the Midwest, it actually came from Europe, according to Marc Emory, who saw four pieces at a coin show in Zurich. While these coins were sufficient to knock the 1931-D out of the same rarity class as the vaunted 1930-S, most graded no higher than MS63. This leaves MS65 specimens, like the one offered here, as an extreme condition rarity as well as an absolute rarity with only 65-85 pieces believed known in all grades.

    The 1931-D is a highly regarded issue, not only for its overall rarity, but also because of the uniformly high production standards. The strike details are generally strong, as seen on this piece, including all the pillars on the Capitol building. The mint luster is pronounced with strong mint frost. The surfaces also display medium reddish-gold color with pale lilac accents around the margins. As expected, there are no abrasions worthy of note on either side of this beautiful Gem. The high-water mark for both grade and price was the 2008 ANA coin, an MS66 that brought an amazing $253,000.
    Ex: Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 7795.
    From the Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N10218) (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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    Auction Dates
    March, 2014
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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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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