1929 $20 MS (PCGS# 9190)


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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1929 $20 MS63 PCGS. The first of the series ending date run of Saint-Gaudens rarities that continues to the unique (in collectors' hands) 1933. Every one of those six issues was struck in noticeable quantities ranging from 74,000 coins for the 1930-S to nearly 3 million coins for the 1931. Although Dave Bowers tells us that as many as 1,800 examples of the 1929 double eagle survive (his field population in A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins), we believe the real population is considerably smaller. At the other end of the spectrum, Walter Breen wrote in 1988 that "estimates range from 60 survivors (reasonable) to 'a few hundred' (most likely too high)." We actually feel that "a few hundred" is about right, although there is no known census. A few less than 300 pieces have been certified by NGC and PCGS, far short of Bowers' comment that nearly 1,000 have been certified. It may be the case that the number of resubmissions and the number of pieces that have yet to be certified is roughly the same, suggesting a final population of 300 pieces. There is little doubt that the incorrect certification figure quoted by Bowers led to his own opinion that so many more survive. This is an excellent example of the date, with brilliant honey-gold color and frosty mint luster on both sides. Although a tad weak at the centers, including poor definition of Liberty's face, the peripheral details are bold, even down to the individual pillars of the Capitol building. A single small mark below the knee and another in the right obverse field are the only significant blemishes. From The Chicago Collection of Saints.
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