Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 44

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Lot 2643

1912 $20 St. Gaudens. NGC graded Proof 65. A beautiful matte Proof example for this date. Only 74 Proofs minted. Same fine sandblast finish as 1911. The obverse now with 48 stars instead of the former 46, recognizing the admission of New Mexico and Arizona as forty-seventh and forty-eighth states, January 6 and February 14, 1912. The two extra stars were added to the end of the curved row at lower right, about 5 o'clock, among oak leaves below date, but without other design modification. "Barber evidently did this by sinking a master die from a 1908-11 hub and punching in the stars by hand," according to researcher Walter Breen, "thereafter in turn raising working hubs from it and sinking working dies."

The numerical grade confirms what is seen under magnification when viewing this coin: exquisite and refreshingly clean for the issue, with luster like millions of tiny diamonds sparkling in the fields over the sun-drenched golden devices. The fields have a natural patina to them, and the matte-like appearance adds much eye-appeal. It is interesting to see, as well, that it was struck from well-prepared dies that imported a sound and in point of fact, a bold design in the all areas. The sharp detail can be traced to possibly multiple strikings on a medal press prior to being bombarded with grains of sand to achieve the sandblast effect. The hydraulic medal press at the mint applied a more forceful and even "squeeze" to the planchet than did the regular electric-operated stamping presses used for circulation-quality coins. Pop 8; 42 finer; 29 in 66; 12 in 67; 1 in 68 Star. (PCGS # 9209) .
Estimated Value $50,000 - 55,000.

Realized $55,200

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