Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 54

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Lot 3474

1902 $20 Liberty. NGC graded Proof 65. A gem all brilliant Proof example and warm golden-orange in color. Only 114 proofs struck. The display of warm golden toning ingratiates itself over both sides. Exceedingly choice for the grade, 1902 also happens to be a rare date as a Proof with few of the pieces struck 106 years ago in this outstanding Gem condition. Of the original number perhaps 30 or 40 still remain locked away in collections, high grade examples being especially rare (just run your vision over the supplied population figures at the end of this text). We are under the certain presumption that 1902 deserves exclusive mention, due in part to the scarcity of existing business strike population figures, but chiefly from the paucity of certified samples from the main the grading services.

This is an attractive piece that shows some light field-to-device contrast but not enough to give it a cameo dimension. The deep, watery mirrored fields display a plethora of visible mint sparkle and dancing light when the coin is tilted at various angles, a common occurrence for the few remaining high grade Liberty double eagles. All things considered, a very attractive example of a very elusive year. Pop 1; 2 finer, 1 in 65 star, 1 in 66 (PCGS # 9118) .

How to explain the so-called "orange peel" surface on America's Proof gold coins? After the dies are hubbed and the date is applied, the die is given multiple polishes with progressively finer and finer polish. The last polish given to the dies prior to being hardened gives the field a surface quite like a mirror. This is the deepest mirror attainable on the dies. When the die is hardened, the metal shrinks slightly creating a wavy effect on the polished surfaces. It looks somewhat like the surface of an orange. When you see orange peel on a Proof issue like this 1902 $20 you can be sure that it is one of the first examples struck from those dies. Later polishing to the already hardened dies will produce a flatter and shallower mirror.
Estimated Value $50,000 - 55,000.

Realized $57,500

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