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All Posts Tagged With: "Saint Gaudens"

The Top Ten Mint State Saints

Much has been written about the $20 Saint-Gaudens series since it is quite possibly the most popular gold coin sought after today. I’d like to discuss the rarity/value relationship of the top ten scarcest dates, in mint state condition. I will exclude the 1933 from this discussion since there is only one coin legal to own and therefore unobtainable by the majority of registry collectors. Although most coins have appreciated in value over the last 10 years, the Saint-Gaudens series has been the area of some of the biggest increases. In compiling this list, PCGS and NGC population numbers are used as a starting point as well as CDN values over the last ten years. Needless to say, population report numbers are not entirely accurate due to resubmissions; however they do still represent a high degree of accuracy. The increasing popularity of registry sets makes such analysis important for current and future collectors. (All population data is current as of 2/2/07)

#10) 1908-S:

The 1908-S has the distinction of being the lowest mintage date (22,000) in the series (aside from the 1907 $20 High Relief) Since we are focusing on mint state examples today, some would be surprised to see this date in the top ten list, however with a certified PCGS population of 121 and an NGC population of 124 in all mint state grades I rank it number 10.

Most Uncirculated coins have soft satiny luster and an adequate strike. There are a small number of heavily abraded and unattractive lower grade mint state coins which came over from Europe in the last few years. None of those coins were above MS-63 in quality. This may be the reason that the CDN bid price has not adequately reflected this date’s value over the last 3 or 4 years. For example; 1908S has a current MS-63 CDN bid of $15,500. These have been trading at auction in the last year for between $19,578 and $21,850. The latter coin I purchased out of the ANR sale in Chicago, July of last year. Needless to say I resold the coin for a profit. The relative grey sheet value of the 1908S should therefore resemble the value of other key date Saints with equal rarity and population.

One date that comes to mind is the 1926-D. The combined certified population of both dates in MS-60-62 is 139(1908-S) and 123 for the 1926-D, roughly equal, yet the 26-D trades for over twice the price of the 08-S. Moreover in MS-63 the 1908-S has a certified population of only 31 while 1926-D has certified population of 50. (more…)

Unique Plain Edge 1907 $10 pattern – believed the only Saint-Gaudens coin actually seen by the artist – at Boston ANA auction

Historic pattern struck just before the artist’s death for his approval

The only known Plain Edge 1907 ten dollar coin with Wire Rim, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens – and likely the only example of his coinage that he ever saw – is among the most historically important pieces in Heritage’s upcoming U.S. Coin auction. It will be offered on Aug. 11, as part of the Official Auction of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Boston, MA.

“At the turn of the 20th century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s most prominent artists,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “In 1905, during Theodore Roosevelt’s second term, Roosevelt convinced Saint-Gaudens to redesign the two largest American gold coins: the ten dollar, or eagle, and the twenty dollar, or double eagle. The results made Saint-Gaudens one of the most famous American coinage artists and secured his lasting fame.”

The coinage designs would be the artist’s final masterpieces. In July 1907, when Saint-Gaudens was going through the last stage of his terminal cancer, two early examples of the ten dollar coin were struck. The edges of these two coins were plain; later Wire Rim 1907 ten dollar coins have an edge design of 46 stars.

“The two Plain Edge coins were patterns, made to see how the coins looked,” said Rohan. “They were the coinage equivalent of an artist’s proof. After the two Plain Edge coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint, they were split up.”

One was sent to Treasury Secretary George B. Cortelyou, who forwarded it to the President, while the other was sent to Saint-Gaudens at his studio in New Hampshire. This was the only time Saint-Gaudens would see his work in coin form. He died on August 3, 1907, before further work could be done on either denomination.

Archived letters show that the coin Roosevelt saw was eventually sent back to the Mint, while the Saint-Gaudens coin disappears from the record. This coin’s history is largely unknown, and it is impossible to say with certainty whether it was sent to Roosevelt or Saint-Gaudens, but it is a coin of tremendous importance regardless of the answer. Either it was sent to President Roosevelt, whose dedication to coinage redesign had been vital to the whole project; or it went to Saint-Gaudens, the artist who had spent more than two years bringing the President’s ambition to life. (more…)

Classic Coin to Display Two Ultra Rare Double Eagles in Boston Valued at $18 Million

“Coins Worthy of a King” the 1861-P Paquet and 1921 Proof Double Eagles in Historic ANA Exhibit

An $18 million display of two rare Double Eagles accompanied by Boston-related early Americana will be one of the exhibit highlights in the Museum Showcase area at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money convention in Boston, August 10 – 14, 2010.

1861-P Paquet $20 NGC MS67:  Formerly in the famous Farouk and Norweb collections, this 1861 Philadelphia Mint "Paquet Reverse" gold $20, graded NGC MS67, will be displayed at the ANA World's Fair of Money in Boston courtesy of Brian Hendelson of Classic Coin Co.  (Photo courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.)The coins in this first-ever display are the finer each of the two known 1861 Philadelphia Mint “Paquet Reverse” gold $20, graded NGC MS67, and 1921 Proof Roman Finish Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, graded NGC SP64.

[PHOTO CAPTION: 1861-P Paquet $20 NGC MS67 – Formerly in the famous Farouk and Norweb collections, this 1861 Philadelphia Mint “Paquet Reverse” gold $20, graded NGC MS67, will be displayed at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston courtesy of Brian Hendelson of Classic Coin Co. (Photo courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.)]

Insured for $8 million each, they are being provided for the ANA exhibit by Brian Hendelson, President of Classic Coin Co. of Bridgewater, New Jersey.

“This will be the first time both coins have ever been displayed at the same time and location. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thousands of visitors to see them together up close,” he said.

In addition to these two coins, other historic items in the display from Hendelson’s own collection include one of the few known surviving broadsides of the Declaration of Independence printed in Boston circa July 17, 1776 by printers Gill, Powars and Willis; seven silver spoons crafted by legendary Boston patriot Paul Revere; and a silver teapot and knee buckles made by fellow Colonial era Boston silversmith, Jacob Hurd, that were acquired by a New England family in 1785 and passed down to their heirs for over two centuries.

In descriptive text prepared for the exhibit, ANA Museum Curator Douglas Mudd headlines the Paquet design Double Eagle as “a coin fit for a king.” One of its former owners was the notorious King Farouk of Egypt who amassed a fabled coin collection before he was deposed in 1952. It also was in the famous coin collection of Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb.

Nearly three million Double Eagles were struck in 1861 at the Philadelphia Mint, but today only two are known with a slightly modified design on the reverse made by Assistant Mint Engraver, Anthony Paquet, who also engraved the first Congressional Medal of Merit. His lettering on the $20 coin is taller and more slender than the design originally created in 1857 by Chief Engraver James Longacre. (more…)

Coin Profile: The 1920-S Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle

The 1920-S double eagle is a prized rarity in the Saint-Gaudens series, and it holds a unique historical position in that assemblage. Before the United States entered the First World War, gold twenties actually circulated in the western part of the country. Coins from that early period are more available today than later dates such as the 1920-S.

The war brought inflation, with consequent rising prices in gold and other metals. Double eagle production in San Francisco was halted in 1916 and did not resume until 1920. A large mintage of 558,000 pieces was produced at the San Francisco Mint that year, but the commercial role of the double eagle had changed. The big gold coins no longer circulated freely, and ordinary citizens seldom saw them. Instead, the government and the banking system kept the coins in reserve. By this time, double eagles served two purposes: The government used some, stored in mint bags, to redeem Gold Certificates. Other coins were used as specie payments to foreign governments and banks.

Private ownership of gold became essentially illegal after the Gold Recall Act of 1933, and most of the government-held coins were melted in 1937, converted into gold bars, and transported to Fort Knox. The coins used in international trade largely escaped this fate, and many of them were found decades later in European banks. Enough circulated specimens of the 1920-S exist to suggest that a few bags may have reached circulation, but examples have never been readily available. Almost all of the mintage was melted. The 1920-S issue was the earliest date subject to this destruction, and it is demonstrably scarce today.

Collecting large-denomination gold coins became popular for the first time during the 1940s. Some of the greatest collections of that era included specimens of the 1920-S double eagle and helped establish the 1920-S as a rare and desirable coin. However, it was the Dr. Charles W. Green Collection, sold by B. Max Mehl in 1949, that really put the coin on the map.

Mehl’s usually terse lot description expanded to eight lines on this occasion. He noted that Dr. Green had purchased the coin at the Bell sale for $160 and asserted it was, “One of the most difficult dates and mints of the Double Eagles to obtain.” The Green sale had a dramatic effect on double eagle collecting in general. (more…)

Brahin’s Syrup to be Auctioned at FUN: Select Group of Saint Gaudens $20 Gold Coins

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

On Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, Heritage’s long awaited Platinum Night event at the FUN Convention in Orlando will include a marvelous array of choice and rare U.S. coins. It is part of a larger auction extravaganza that is held in conjunction with one of the two most important coin conventions of the year, that of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) organization.

brahin_121809_reynoldsThe famous collector Jay Brahin has consigned a select group of Saint Gaudens Double Eagles ($20 gold coins) to be sold on Platinum Night. The most valuable piece from the Brahin collection is a 1927-S Saint that is graded MS-66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Brahin’s consignment is of just seven coins, yet these are particularly significant. These seven constitute his entire current collection of Double Eagles and were very carefully selected by him. Jay reveals that he had “no intention of selling is coins, but I [Jay] am selling for personal reasons that are completely unrelated to coins or coin markets. I would have liked to have held these coins for a decade or more. Coins are art to me, and I am proud to have obtained these coins. I love the thrill of the hunt. Finding the coin is more gratifying than selling it.”

Brahin started “collecting coins as a kid.” He “filled coin albums with cents, nickels, dimes and quarters. During vacations, I [Jay] would work $20 in change several times over in one day, by going back and forth to the bank. Over the period of a summer day, I would go to a bank eight or nine times. It was fun. I loved it. I fell off the collecting wagon, but I never lost my love of coins.”

As a teenager, Brahin had other interests. Later in life, in 2002, Jay returned to coin collecting. He “always wanted to own a Saint when [he] was a kid.” So, he “turned to Saints.” Jay saw “Dr. Duckor’s Saint set on the PCGS registry, which was then blocked from view, but his e-mail address was briefly posted. I wrote to him and said I was an admirer of his Barber Half set; I inquired about his Saints. Later, we talked about the philosophy of collecting.” (more…)

Park Avenue Numismatics Sells Finest Known 1907 $20 St. Gaudens High Relief

pan_ms69_hr_111809(Miami Beach, FL)- November 18 2009, Park Avenue Numismatics has sold the Finest Known example of the 1907 $20 St. Gaudens High Relief Wire Rim graded MS69 PCGS with CAC (Certified Acceptance Corporation) approval for more that $600,000.

“Arguably the most desired of all $20 US gold coins, this Gem was the most incredible High Relief I’ve ever seen in my 25 years as a rare coin dealer ” said Bob Green, President of Park Avenue Numismatics.” It holds a place in numismatic history with a Pedigree to the famous Ed Trompeter collection. We are pleased to have been part of that history” stated Green.

Park Avenue Numismatics has bought and sold many of the rarest $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagles over the last two decades and was awarded recognition by PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) for assembling the Finest Know complete set of St. Gaudens, including the scarce 1927-D in 2005.

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS69 PCGS. This issue was a revision of Saint-Gaudens’ Ultra High Relief double eagle, as the latter proved impractical for circulation strikes because it required seven blows from a 150-ton medal press to fully articulate the design. The “High Relief” could be struck after just three blows of the medal press. Over 12,000 High Relief twenties were struck by the end of December, 1907.

A so called “Wire Rim” protruded around the outer extremity in the coins, which resulted from excessive metal flow between the die face and collar during the striking process. Unlike today’s collectors who consider the Wire Rim to be a highly collectible variety, Mint officials considered it to be a striking deficiency. This “flaw” in the striking process was corrected around mid-December, and subsequent High Relief double eagles possessed what became known as a “Flat Rim.”
(more…)