Description

    Extremely Rare HK-1031
    Gold 1920 Wilson Dollar MS62
    Finest of Three Known

    1920 Gold Wilson Dollar MS62 NGC. HK-1031, R.9. This so-called dollar was struck to commemorate the July 16, 1920 opening of the Manila Mint. It was the only U.S. branch mint to operate outside of the continental United States. The Philippines became a U.S. territory in 1899, following the 1898 Spanish-American War. Between 1903 and 1919, Philippine coins were struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints. The Manila Mint operated until 1942, when the islands were occupied by the Japanese during World War II. The Philippines became an independent republic in 1946.
    This semi-prooflike example is well struck, with the sole exception of the hair of Juno Moneta, the kneeling woman. The coin was struck at least three times, with evidence of the additional strikes visible on the date and other legends. A few delicate hairlines on the left fields are customary for the grade.
    George T. Morgan was Chief Engraver in 1920, after the 1917 death of Charles Barber. Morgan's obverse depicts a vibrant left-facing bust of President Wilson, who at the time was devastated by a stroke. Morgan's reverse design borrows elements from the 1915-S Panama-Pacific half dollar reverse, since it also features a child holding a cornucopia.
    Silver and copper specimens of the Wilson dollar (HK-449 and HK-450) are scarce. But according to the second edition of Hibler-Kappen, "only five gold pieces [were] reportedly struck. One was present to President Woodrow Wilson and one to the U.S. Secretary of War. Three retained in the Philippines were lost during World War II." Similar information is reported in the 1963 first edition of Hibler-Kaplen.
    Today, there are three known gold Wilson dollars. Remarkably, all have appeared at auction this year:
    1. The present lot and the finest known. MS62 NGC. Ex: Stack's, 12/1996, lot 2927.
    2. Stack's, 1/2008, lot 7298. MS61 NGC. Identified by a mark on Juno's shoulder.
    3. Heritage, 2/2008, lot 81185. Mount removed from edge.
    For the ambitious collector who seeks to complete a set of so-called dollars, the current lot presents the opportunity to acquire a key to the series.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2008
    16th-19th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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