Coin Specifications

Category: St. Gaudens $20 (1907-1933)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 50
Catalog: KM-131
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1249.91 (4/24/2014)
Diameter: 34mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1915 $20 PF obverse 1915 $20 PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The 1915 proof twenty was a milestone in the series of sandblast (matte) proof twenties for two reasons. The mintage was a mere 50 pieces, lowest in the series, and it was the final year of issue for this special finish on U.S. gold coinage. The minuscule mintage probably represented the core number of collectors in the country who would purchase a proof twenty for their collection each year, regardless of the method of manufacture. The last time only 50 proof double eagles were produced was in 1894. The years between then and the end of the Coronet series in 1907 ranged from 50 pieces up to a high of 158 proofs in 1903. The new dime, quarter, and half dollar that went into production in 1916 had different field curvature and unevenness, similar to the twenty dollar coins, and accordingly were unsuited for traditional brilliant proofing methods. Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Adam Joyce pointed this out in a letter to Mint Director F.J.H. von Engelken on October 17, 1916:

' ... the only difference between the proofs and the regular [nickel and silver] coins being the sharper edge and design. ... In order to distinguish gold proofs from the regular issue, it has been necessary to give them a sandblast finish, which changes the appearance of the coins to such an extent that it is almost impossible to put them in circulation. This is something I am not sure we have a right to do.'

When those reasons were coupled with the additional paperwork and lost revenue producing each proof coin, von Engelken discontinued the manufacture of proof coinage the following day.

We estimate that probably no more than 30 individual pieces exist today in all grades. This year has the same coarse finish as seen on the 1914 twenties.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/12/2013

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1915 $20 PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 15250 18500 23000 35000 54000 135000 190000 265000 - - -
$ - - - - - 16500 20500 26000 37500 65000 155000 225000 285000 -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 41
Low Grade: 63
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/16/1995 PCGS PF 65   Heritage Auctions 1995 ANA Bullet Sale #141, 141/Lot# 1598 $18,700.00
4/6/2006 NGC PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2006 April Atlanta, GA (ANA) Signature Auction #402, 402/Lot# 2490 $83,375.00
5/25/2008 NGC PF 65   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 4852 $50,600.00
8/11/2011 NGC PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7714 $63,250.00
8/11/2011 NGC PF 65   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7713 $60,375.00
2/28/2012 PCGS PF 63   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 8762 $833.75


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1915 $20 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11111111205026643340370343195137602873408494962911147121371683221353
1111111684225428893461390845915434646577248872101351147713702183390
000000168422542889346139084591543464657724887210135114771370200
0000001136724593114358241134864573169028109925010641118071526700
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