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