Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 36

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Lot 4153

1931 $20 St. Gaudens. PCGS graded MS-65 PQ. A frosty gem coin. Well struck. Very popular date. Since virtually the entire extant population for 1931 falls into the Mint State grades, it is plain to see that this double eagle issue was never released for general circulation. Most of the 2,938,250 pieces originally minted were melted in the Mint, and today the 1931 is comparable in overall rarity to the highly respected 1932. Pop 28; 8 in 66; 1 in 67.

Among Saint-Gaudens pieces, the 1931 is considered to be one of the top seven rarest issues in the series, with precious few examples surviving the mass melting of the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s. Experts have speculated over the years which of these later dated issues is now the rarest, and exactly how they should be ranked. The population figures by the major services can sometimes be misleading as to exact rarity as the same coin may have been submitted to both services at different times, or even the same service multiple times thus causing the published figures to be skewed.

The 1931 we present in this lot is a beautiful coin. Its surfaces display excellent mint frostiness, which is characteristic of this issue but not too often found other than baggy. The color shows a pretty combination of colors, from light to not quite medium yellow-gold color with subtle rose pink accents turning to the warm orange color of apricot. The design elements are sharply made, and include strong definition on the central devices, as well as in the less central regions such as the Capitol dome and most of the stars. The surfaces on both sides are immaculate for the issue; a handful of trivial marks here and there are not even worth the time it takes to give them individual mention. While copper stains often dog this issue like measles in a kindergarten, the present example reveals not even a single solitary spot, none whatsoever. What a treat it is for us to describe this 1931 double eagle for you. And what a pleasure it will be to some fortunate buyer who acquires possession of it! (PCGS # 9192) .
Estimated Value $85,000 - 95,000.

Realized $132,250

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