At the New York Invitational Show, a West Coast dealer, who wishes to remain anonymous, submitted for grading a 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Valued at nearly $2 million, this twenty dollar gold piece is a much prized Twentieth Century rarity. This particular specimen has long-resided in private collection and had never before been seen by a professional grading service.
It has been graded MS66 and is the finest piece certified by NGC. This stunning specimen is one of perhaps fifteen known in all. Sharply struck from fresh dies, this lovely coin displays vivid, frosty luster and a subtle wash of peach toning. It is an absolutely beautiful example of this famed rarity.
Though a mintage of 180,000 pieces is small for a 20th Century coin, this is not the cause of this issue’s great rarity. The rarest collectable date in the popular Saint-Gaudens series, 1927-D fell victim to mass melting after 1934, only a handful of examples having been released prior to the government recall. Those examples were likely released directly by the US Treasury which offered coins by request at face value, plus postage, from 1927 through early 1933. All extant pieces are believed to be from the same dies, the reverse easily identified by a die crack through the eagle's beak.
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles garner substantial enthusiasm and interest from collectors. The series begins with the direct involvement of President Theodore Roosevelt who personally chose Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign US coinage to reflect the majesty of the Nation. The result was a stunning High Relief issue of 1907, widely hailed as the most beautiful coin ever issued by the US Mint. The lore of this coin came alive again most recently in June of 2002 when Sotheby’s and Stack’s sold in auction the lone legal example dated 1933, which was never officially released before President Franklin Roosevelt suspended the circulation of gold specie. That coin realized $7.59 million and became the highest value coin ever to trade at public auction.