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SERIES: St. Gaudens $20 1907-1933
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1908-S $20 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67

PCGS MS67

PCGS MS66+
PCGS #:
9149
Diameter:
34.00 millimeters
Designer:
Augustus Saint Gaudens
Weight:
33.40 grams
Edge:
Lettered
Mintage:
22,000
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$161,000 • PCGS MS67 • 1-3-2012 • Heritage
Go To Grade
  • 12
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12
2,700
1
15
2,800
20
2,900
2
25
3,000
1
30
3,100
11
45+
4,650
50+
5,350
53+
6,000
55+
6,750
62+
18,500
1
63+
23,500
64+
34,500
4
65+
61,500
1
66+
115,000
1
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1,316 R-4.8 16 / 49 16 / 54
60 or Better 466 R-6.0 11 / 49 TIE 11 / 54 TIE
65 or Better 50 R-8.5 20 / 49 TIE 20 / 54 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Simpson Collection

1 MS67 PCGS grade

Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena, 11/1988:4090 - David W. Akers - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - Heritage 1/2012:4607, $161,000

1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  

Philip Morse - Heritage 11/2005:6559, $109,250

1 MS67 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Simpson Collection

1 MS67 PCGS grade

Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena, 11/1988:4090 - David W. Akers - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - Heritage 1/2012:4607, $161,000

1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  

Philip Morse - Heritage 11/2005:6559, $109,250

1 MS67 PCGS grade  
6 MS66+ PCGS grade
7 MS66 PCGS grade  

David Akers - Dr. Steven Duckor - American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:1700, not sold

7 MS66 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2004:7738, $74,750 - John Kutasi - Heritage 1/2007:3265, $86,250

7 MS66 PCGS grade  

Heritage 10/2008:2444, $81,7650 - Bay State Collection, Part Two - Heritage 7/2009:1335, $69,000

7 MS66 PCGS grade  

Jay Brahin - Heritage 4/2008:2512, $97,750 - Carter Family Collection - Heritage 4/2010:2341, $86,250

David Akers (1975/88): The 1908-S is a rare issue in any Mint State grade. This is one of those relatively few Saint-Gaudens issues that is seen much more often in the circulated grades than in Mint State. Most Mint State specimens are rather low quality, i.e. in the MS-60 to 62 range. At the MS-63 level or above, this issue is really very rare. However, there are a fair number of gem quality specimens around as well as several superb ones. Dr. Steven Duckor's is a nearly perfect satiny specimen and the Auction '80-Milton Holmes and Norweb specimens are also close to perfection. Eliasberg's was better than MS-65, and I own two other such specimens. Harry Bass, Dr. Thaine Price, Dr. William Crawford and a prominent Eastern collector all own gems, and there are still others, such as the one in the Browning Collection. All in all, probably 15 to 20 gem or superb quality pieces are known.

All 1908-S double eagles were struck from the dies produced from the strengthened obverse hub, so all of them show more detail on the obverse than the No Motto issues. The 1908-S is always very sharply struck. The mintmark is very tiny but usually well defined. Like the half eagle and eagle of the same date and mint, the 1908-S double eagle comes with two very different finishes; one is "soft" frosty, the other (much more rare) is very satiny. Color is usually excellent on this issue; the most often seen is greenish gold and orange although many specimens are very orange or coppery colored. Red or orange copper spots are common on this issue and some are afflicted by carbon spots. Lustre is invariably very good to excellent. In top grade, this is one of the prettiest issues of the series.