Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 78

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Lot 1901

1920-S. PCGS graded MS-62. A lustrous, frosty mint example of this classic rare date, lightly toned. A pleasing strike with a fully defined head on Liberty. Some light scattered contact marks are noted on both sides, none too serious or worthy of mention. We are proud to present this extremely rare coin for auction. Throw out the mintage figures because of the 528,500 struck, perhaps 100 survive today in all grades. And unlike some of the rarities in the later years of the decade, the supply of 1920-S has not been augmented by hundreds or thousands of recent imports. The bulk of the issue was melted or otherwise lost. This date is so rare that Breen estimated the number to survive at on 8-12 when he prepared the manuscript for his Encyclopedia in the late-1970s. Today, with the advantage of the PCGS and NGC Population Reports we see that around 100 have been graded by both services, which no doubt include some duplication between them. Of the pieces graded, this is one of the more lustrous MS62s available, as PCGS reports only 16 others in its class! A wonderful example for the specialist to purchase for a date set. Pop 17; 30 finer (PCGS # 9171) .

Collectors understood the 1920-S to be elusive even before World War II, and yet recognition of this date as part of the top rank in terms of rarity among Saint-Gaudens $20 gold pieces didnt happen overnight. David Akers, who published his research in the late 1970s, noted that a slew of other issues were considered more rare in the years before European repatriation became a widespread practice. Overseas discoveries in the 1970s and 1980s greatly augmented the known populations for many such dates. With no 1920-S Double Eagles in the European hoards, however, the perceived rarity of the date finally dawned upon people.
Estimated Value $50,000 - 55,000.
Ex: Carl S. Carlson and Arthur H. Shipkey Collections, Nov. 8-10, 1976 Lot 156 The Del Valle Collection.

Realized $64,625

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