The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
While the Liberty Head double eagle design created by James B. Longacre went through three major design types (No Motto, With Motto, Twenty Dollars) and a one-year production anomaly (the Paquet reverse), the essence of the devices carried through from the unique prototype in 1849 to Roosevelt's declaration of "atrocious hideousness" and the debut of the Saint-Gaudens design in 1907. Before the fraught evolution of the Saint-Gaudens twenty finished near the end of that year, the Philadelphia Mint struck proofs of the Liberty type, 78 specimens to send off the series.
While that figure is lower than for the years immediately preceding (compare 94 proof double eagles struck at Philadelphia for 1906), the survival rate is roughly equivalent, according to Garrett and Guth, who suggest "40 to 50" pieces extant. High-grade examples, of course, pose a significantly greater challenge than lesser coins, particularly when the collector seeks an example with what passes for contrast in the post-brilliant era. It is worth remembering that all proof Saint-Gaudens twenties are matte or satin in finish, leaving a cameo effect out of the question.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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