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    1911 Saint-Gaudens Twenty Dollar, PR67
    A Bright, Sparkling Example of the Matte Proofing Process
    One of the Finest Remaining of the 65 to 70 Pieces Extant

    1911 $20 PR67 NGC. JD-1, R.5. The curved surfaces on the new Saint-Gaudens' gold coins made them unsuitable for the traditional brightly mirrored proofs that generations of collectors associated with proof coinage. Lesser known was the matte proof texture the Mint had used on medals for several decades. Use of the matte effect of proofing would work with no alteration necessary to the design of the coins. The sandblast, or matte, proof style was first used on the double eagle proofs of 1908, but it proved unpopular with collectors who were unfamiliar with the special finish. The Mint then attempted to placate collectors by introducing a modified style, called by contemporary collectors and Mint personnel a "bright" finish; essentially the planchets were untreated both pre- and post-striking. This unusual, and oftentimes difficult to discern "bright" finish was only used in 1909 and 1910. Numismatists of the day found it equally unacceptable. A return to the matte proof finish was mandated in 1911 and continued through the end of the series in 1915, with only minor variations in granule size and color differences from year-to-year and sometimes multiple variants produced within the same year, undoubtedly due to the operator who was conducting the sandblasting operation.

    In his recent reference on proof U.S. gold, John Dannreuther specifically commented on the color and texture of the 1911 proof twenties:

    "The 100 Proof double eagles struck in 1911 have a lighter finish than seen for the 1908 issues. Many 1911 Proofs have a light orange color with shiny sparkles created by a finer sand grain. The matte finish is among the most desired by today's collectors, so many of these have found their way into type sets. If one has a choice, the lighter color and sparkle found on 1911 Proofs often is preferred over the darker issues of 1908 and 1912 through 1915."

    Only 65 to 70 individual pieces are believed to have survived today in all grades. The present coin is spectacular with virtually perfect surfaces. Even under magnification, no contact marks or shiny spots are visible. Characteristic bright, sparkling facets of granularity are apparent, with several tiny, widely scattered darker brown specks seen that appear to be from the alloy. The strike is all one could ask for, with all the majestic design elements portrayed in full detail. One cannot help but appreciate the refined beauty of this magnificent coin. Census: 11 in 67 (1 in 67+), 5 finer (9/19).
    Ex: Los Angeles Signature (Heritage, 8/2009), lot 1360.
    From The Kodiak Collection. (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GY, PCGS# 9208)

    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 Kodiak Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 417

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    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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