Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Finest Known 1921 Double Eagle, Incredible MS66 Specimen

    1921 $20 MS66 PCGS. Ex: Crawford. After the end of The Great War, there was a general deterioration of economic conditions in the United States. This overall deterioration was evident by the spring of 1920. Programs and procedures put in place during the war had in many instances been removed or modified after the armistice, which resulted in a certain amount of economic dislocation. In particular, U.S. manufacturers had built up large inventories of goods, but the consuming public was unable to absorb them. At the same time, American exports to overseas nations dropped sharply at war's end, which deepened the plight of industry. The results of the recession were high unemployment, a broad series of business bankruptcies and generally falling wages for those Americans who kept their jobs. Most severe of all, however, was the protracted fall of farm prices--an event that would continue to a greater or lesser extent throughout the decade. Mint production reflected this general unease in 1921. Several issues throughout the various denominations were mass produced, cents and nickels from Philadelphia, for instance. Others were low mintage issues, such as the nickels, quarters, and halves from the branch mints. A relatively large number of double eagles were struck, 528,500 pieces, but judging from the number of surviving examples today 99% of the mintage was melted in the 1930s.
    The 1921 is unequalled as a condition rarity in the regular Saint-Gaudens series. Its only rival is the (almost) unobtainable 1933. Probably only 40-60 mint state examples are extant today in all grades. This is the finest piece certified, and almost certainly the finest known example. The surfaces are softly frosted and virtually flawless. There are no obvious abrasions on either side that can be used as pedigree identifiers. The coloration of this coin is quite interesting. It shows a mixture of both green-gold and orange-gold in the planchet with numerous, light reddish alloy spots on each side. The striking details are uniform but not absolutely full on the highpoints--a coin that mirrors Bowers' comment that this issue has "an average strike, not needle sharp in obverse details." On this piece, the most apparent area of weakness is on the eagle's breast feathers.
    It is interesting to speculate about the pedigree of this coin. All we know for certain is it came out of the Crawford Collection. However, in documents uncovered by Roger Burdette, Dr. Thomas Louis Comparette supplied assay coins to George Godard, Librarian of Connecticut and the man responsible for updating the Joseph P. Mitchelson Collection donated to the state in 1911. In a letter dated December 15, 1921, Comparette wrote: "Some [1921] double eagles are being struck here at the mint. Do you wish one? Also some Two Colono gold pieces have been struck here for Costa Rica. They are about the size of a gold dollar. Have you secured specimens?" Godard wasted no time, replying the next day: "We [Senator Hall and Godard] both, too, desire to have specimens of the double eagles and of the two Colono gold pieces now being struck for Costa Rica." Godard's coin was sold in Auction '82 (lot 447), so we conclude (without direct evidence) that this piece was the one George Godard purchased from Dr. Comparette for Senator Hall. It is certainly the coin in Stack's March 1982 sale, lot 1471, as seen by the small copper stain to the right of the first ray on Liberty's right (facing) side, and another (more obvious) spot on the upper portion of the eagle's lower wing on the reverse.
    Possibly Ex: Thomas Comparette to George Godard to Senator Hall; Stack's (3/82), lot 1471, where it brought $41,000; Crawford Collection.
    From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#9172)(Registry values: N1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26G2, PCGS# 9172)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View all of [The Morse Collection: Palm Beach, November 3, 2005 ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2005
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 13,926

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) 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.

    Order Now! Just $95

    Sold on Nov 3, 2005 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 20 days left to consign to the 2021 September 29 - October 3 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    If/when you are considering selling your treasured collection, it would be in your best interest to consider Heritage.
    The White Rose Collection
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search