1926-D $20 MS (PCGS# 9184)

The June 2013 Baltimore Auction

  • Auctioneer:
    Stack's Bowers
  • Lot Number:
  • Grade:
  • Price:
Lot Description
1926-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. MS-64 (PCGS). This is a very scarce date in <em>any</em> grade as so few apparently survived from the original mintage of 481,000 pieces. Today there are probably 300 or so in existence, with this example standing tall as one of the finest certified by the grading services. Rich and abundant luster is present and the surfaces show minimal bagmarks as expected for this hard won grade from PCGS. Like its prized brother the 1927-D double eagle, most of these ended up in the melting pots of the 1930s and all but a few survived. Of the 54 distinct dates and mints&nbsp;of this series, the 1926-D ranks as the tenth rarest. Of the few seen finer, auction records extend into the hundreds of thousands of dollars--and Gems only appear once in several years. For the date specialist forming an advanced collection, this handsome example should be considered as it possesses all the charm of most Gems seen.<br /> <br /> Evidence today points to the fact that most of the branch mint double eagles from this period were later melted. Perhaps the bags of these handsome coins rarely traded but instead were used as banking reserves for the regional state banks far from the East coast. When gold was called in back in April of 1933, the vast majority of the Denver Mint and often San Francisco Mint coins were still in the United States, whereas many bags of Philadelphia Mint coins had been sent overseas to European banks as part of the normal monetary flows of the period. As the gold call in affected only the United States, bags of double eagles or other denominations held in foreign banks were not returned. Collectors were allowed to keep a few coins as well if they had numismatic value, here in the United States. Nevertheless, few collectors could afford to keep such luxuries and most turned them into the government. Decades later, when collecting such coins became more popular, many dates were found residing in European banks and these coins began to fl
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