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    1931-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS64
    Sought-After Late Series Rarity
    Final Denver Mint Twenty

    1931-D $20 MS64 PCGS. CAC. The Denver Mint struck Saint-Gaudens double eagles for the last time in 1931, when a modest mintage of 106,500 pieces was accomplished. The coins were all delivered in four batches between March 17 and April 29. There was little commercial demand for the coins in the shrinking Depression Era economy, so the great majority of the mintage was held in Mint and Treasury vaults until the Gold Recall of 1933 took effect. All the coins in government storage were then melted and stored as gold bars at the Fort Knox Bullion Repository. Research by Roger W. Burdette has established that no more than 441 examples were ever available for sale to collectors, through the cashiers at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints and the Treasurer's office. Only a few scattered pieces were ever sent to European destinations, so repatriations from foreign holdings have not significantly augmented the supply over the years. Probably no more than 100-150 examples survive today in all grades.

    The 1931-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a celebrated rarity in the series today, but it was even more elusive in the 1940s, when collecting double eagles first became popular in this country. Heritage catalogers conducted a survey of 152 auction catalogs from the 1937-1944 time frame and found only three appearances of the 1931-D. A few more specimens eventually turned up, but the 1931-D remained extremely rare until a small hoard of 15-20 coins surfaced in 1984. The discovery of this group caused numismatists to reevaluate the rarity of the 1931-D:

    "Heritage Co-Chairman Jim Halperin states, 'When the hoard appeared I quickly adjusted my thinking regarding their market value as a result of the sudden spurt in availability ... I think they were mostly 63-64 quality with maybe a few Gems."

    The hoard was reported as a Midwestern find by Walter Breen, but Marc Emory, the Director of European Operations for Heritage, remembers handling a few of the coins and seeing four examples at a coin show in Zurich. While the hoard altered the rarity ranking of the 1931-D among the famous "Late-Date Saints" slightly, it was quickly absorbed by the market and did little to affect the value of the coins, which continue to sell for higher and higher prices. Recent sales include the MS64 PCGS, CAC specimen in lot 5604 of the FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2014), which realized $99,875.

    The present coin is a spectacular Choice specimen with sharply detailed design elements that show fine definition on Liberty's facial features and the columns in the Capitol. The well-preserved orange-gold surfaces radiate vibrant mint luster from both sides. The quality and eye appeal are confirmed by the CAC sticker. This lot affords collectors a rare opportunity to acquire one of the landmark rarities of this extremely popular series.
    Population: 33 in 64 (3 in 64+), 23 finer. CAC: 9 in 64, 5 finer (8/21).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26GP, PCGS# 9193)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2021
    7th-10th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 36
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,154

    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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