1930-S $20 Double Eagle graded MS64 by PCGS.
1930-S $20 Double Eagle graded MS64 by PCGS.

Currently for offer on GreatCollections.com is a fine example of one of the most desirable Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle gold coins available on the market. This 1930-S Saint-Gaudens, which received an MS 64 grade from PCGS and a green sticker from CAC, is quite strong for the grade. Struck as part of the rarest post-1929 issuance, this auction is an opportunity for collectors of high-grade American gold coins to acquire quite a gem.

Interested collectors should note that bidding for this piece ends on Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 7:29 PM Pacific Time (10:29 PM Eastern). At the time of publication, the highest of 79 bids stands at $205,000 USD with four days remaining for additional bidding.

In response to the economic turmoil ravaging the United States as a result of the Great Depression, the San Francisco Mint struck only 74,000 double eagles in 1930, representing the facility’s final issuance of the denomination. Subsequently, the Treasury Department melted the vast majority of this issuance, resulting in the minuscule population of 50 to 100 pieces that survives to this day.

Due to both their rarity and desirability, this date has increased in value dramatically over the past several decades. Comparable examples, all graded as either MS 64 or 66, used to sell for roughly $100,000 just over 20 years ago. This changed, however, when a number of examples sold in the late 2000s for between $150,000 and $180,000. Shortly thereafter, these coins in the same grade began commanding prices of upwards of $200,000 to $300,000. In the past year, three stunning examples (two in May and one in August) sold for $216,000, $288,000, and $264,000, respectively. All of these coins are in slightly worse condition than this particular coin.

Design

The obverse of the 1930-S double eagle features a full-length image of Lady Liberty, facing forward with an olive branch in her extended left hand and a raised torch in her extended right. Draped in a long, flowing classical gown, her hair is swept to the left. Some describe her as striding forward, but she appears instead to be in a pose; the foot of her left leg resting on a large rock (in front of which are oak leaves). To Liberty’s right, at the bottom of the coin, the sun is visible behind a depiction of the U.S. Capitol building. Rays from the sun extend upward from behind the Capitol and Liberty to about the level of Liberty’s waist. At the top of the coin is the word LIBERTY, the torch separating I and B. Forty-eight tiny six-pointed stars are arrayed just inside the flat rim, forming a circle broken only at the bottom.

The date in ‘Arabic’ numerals is near the bottom on the right; a monogram of the designer’s initials ASG is below the date.

The crest of the sun appears again on the reverse, at the bottom with rays extending upward nearly to the top of the coin behind a majestic left-facing eagle, wings uplifted in flight. In an arc above the sun is IN GOD WE TRUST, the words separated by centered triangular dots. At the top is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in a concentric arc next to the flat rim, with TWENTY DOLLARS just below in another arc. The words of both phrases are separated by centered triangular dots, and the text is also in front of the sun’s rays.

The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, in raised letters that alternate with 13 raised stars, is on the edge of the coin.

Bidding for this 1930-S Double Eagle ends on Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 7:29 PM Pacific Time (10:29 PM Eastern).

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