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SERIES: St. Gaudens $20 1907-1915
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1912 $20 (Proof)

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PCGS PR67

PCGS PR66+

PCGS PR66+
PCGS #:
9209
Diameter:
34.00 millimeters
Designer:
Augustus Saint Gaudens
Weight:
33.40 grams
Edge:
Lettered
Mintage:
74
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$211,500 • PCGS PR67 • 8-8-2013 • Heritage
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 49 R-8.5 6 / 9 11 / 14
60 or Better 47 R-8.5 6 / 9 11 / 14
65 or Better 28 R-8.9 6 / 9 11 / 14
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR67 PCGS grade

Victoria Rose Collection - Heritage 1/2013:5973, $82,250 - Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:2199, $117,500 - Heritage 8/2013:5936, $211,500

2 PR66+ PCGS grade
2 PR66+ PCGS grade
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR67 PCGS grade

Victoria Rose Collection - Heritage 1/2013:5973, $82,250 - Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:2199, $117,500 - Heritage 8/2013:5936, $211,500

2 PR66+ PCGS grade
2 PR66+ PCGS grade
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
4 PR66 PCGS grade  
10 PR65 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): Proofs of 1912 are very rare, about on a par with all the other Saint-Gaudens proofs (except the 1908 which is the commonest of the group). An estimated 20-25 proofs are known.

Ron Guth: David Akers, the great guru of gold coins, guessed that 20 to 25 Matte Proof 1912 Double Eagles survived out of the original mintage of 74 pieces.  The experts at PCGS suggest a population of between 45-55 pieces.  The PCGS Population Report shows roughly two dozen grading events, though some duplication may have occurred because of resubmissions.  Regardless of the estimates of the surviving population, the Matte Proof 1912 $20 is a decidedly rare coin.

The unusual finish on Matte Proofs was applied to the coins after they were struck.  In most cases, Matte Proofs were lightly sandblasted, giving them a muted luster and an appearance that is completely different from that seen on coins made for circulation.  Mintages for Matte Proofs are small because collector demand was low, not because the Mint limited production.  Collectors had a hard time wrapping their heads around the unusual matte finish, remebering instead the beautiful black-and-white Cameo Proofs of previous decades.  In that sense, Matte Proofs are an acquired taste, which once understood, is accepted energetically.  The combination of extremely low mintages and the unusual finish have proven irresistible to many collectors.

The finest Matte Proof 1912 $20 is a PCGS PR67 that sold for a record $211,500 in 2013.