1927-D $20 MS (PCGS# 9187)

2006 January Orlando, FL (FUN Platinum Night) Signature Auction #394

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1927-D $20 MS65 NGC. The Saint-Gaudens series of twenties is replete with scarce, rare, and valuable issues. It is an unusual series for the average collector to understand as the mintages for most issues are meaningless because of mass meltings in the 1930s. Value in this series is based on estimated numbers of survivors rather than mintages and taking a percentage of the mintage and estimating how many may be extant in a given grade. This method works for many Federal U.S. coins, but mintages in the Saint-Gaudens series are nothing more than an interesting footnote. From 1927 until the early 1930s, 1927-D twenties were available for face value from the Treasury Department. However, virtually no one capitalized on this unique opportunity. From the 1940s through the 1960s, the rarity ratings of the various issues of Saints were in a state of flux as hoards, both large and small, were found in Europe and Central America. Many premier rarities were located, sometimes by the hundreds, and their former glory was tarnished by the appearance of these newly discovered pieces. Examples of this are the 1924-S and the 1926-D, once considered the two keys to the series and both of which turned up in overseas holdings. Fifty years ago the 1926-S, 1927-S, and 1931 were also considered scarcer than the 1927-D, but examples of these issues also appeared overseas. But as the years went by, no "new" 1927-D twenties appeared on the market. Today we still have the same 10-12 coins that were in collections in the 1940s, four of which are permanently impounded in institutions. Below is the current roster of known specimens, which undoubtedly includes some duplication: 1-2) Two specimens in the Smithsonian Institution, from the Denver Mint in 1927. 3) J.F. Bell (Stack's, 12/44), lot 1004, the earliest auction appearance of this issue; Dr. Charles Green Sale (BMM, 4/49), lot 917. 4) The Schermerhorn specimen, sold by Stack's in a private treaty transaction to Josiah K. Lilly in 1953, now
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