1927-D $20 MS (PCGS# 9187)

Phillip H. Morse Saint-Gaudens Collection

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1927-D $20 MS67 PCGS. As we previously indicated in the introductory section to the 1927-D double eagle, this issue is considered to be the rarest U.S. gold coin of the 20th century, and is the rarest coin of any denomination or metal from this century. As we also wrote, fewer than 12 pieces are known in all grades, and PCGS and NGC have certified a total of ten examples, some of which may be resubmissions. Auction appearances of this issue are few--only six or seven coins having been in major sales over the past 20 years. Three specimens are in the Smithsonian National Collection. We present below some of the sales in which the '27-D has appeared in the recent past. Superior offered a Brilliant Uncirculated example in its February 1973 sale, which was described as frosty with minimal abrasions (lot 1041). Bowers and Ruddy, in its October 1982 Eliasberg sale, sold a Choice Brilliant Uncirculated piece (lot 1067). The Auction '84 sale included a Gem Uncirculated 65 coin offered by Paramount (lot 999), which was described as "Fully struck and lustrous with superb orange and greenish-gold toning. Identifiable by a small bagmark on the 9th ray (from left) and a faint hairline in the left obverse field by the end of Liberty's flowing hair." In October 1985, Stack's included a Choice Brilliant Uncirculated piece in its Primary Bartle Collection sale, where it was described as having "frosty luster" and being "sharply struck" with "light coppery toning" (lot 868). This same coin appeared in Superior's August 1992 sale as lot 686. The coin was readily identifiable by a comparison of photos from the two catalogs that revealed a light contact mark located on the middle of the fourth ray down beneath Liberty's left arm, and another on the ray just above the D mintmark. In our June 1995 sale, we offered an NGC-graded MS66 specimen, which we described as heavily frosted with rich, variegated orange-gold coloration (lot 6026). The Paramount example in Auction '84 reappeared as lo
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