Biding is now live at GreatCollections.com for the opportunity to acquire a stunning Proof 1913 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle. Certified and graded as PR 66 by PCGS, this high-grade coin also received a green CAC sticker, meaning that CAC considers it a strong example of the grade. A notable rarity, this particular coin is the only example graded PR 66 or higher to have come to public auction in the past two years. Practically flawless, it would be well at home in any world-class collection. Collectors interested in bidding should be aware that the auction for this coin ends in 12 days on Sunday, September 11 at 7:56 Pacific Time (10:56 Eastern).
At the time of publication, the highest of 70 bids stands at $114,500 USD.
Struck in Philadelphia from 1907 until 1915, all Proof Saint-Gaudens double eagles are extremely rare. Due to a lack of demand, while the United States Mint struck 99 pieces in 1913, they only issued a total of 58 Proof double eagles. However, there is some disagreement as to what the surviving population is, with Q. David Bowers, David Akers, and John W. Dannreuther suggesting 12 to 15, 20 to 25, and 35 to 45 pieces, respectively.
While the real number is probably in between those estimates, it is definitely not 76, as suggested by the combined PCGS and NGC populations.
Regardless, the near-perfect condition of this coin sets it apart. With no distracting marks to mar the sand-blasted surfaces, the devices on this fully lustrous coin are highlighted by very slight blue and reddish toning. To apply the finish, the coin was held in a small box by a Mint worker and placed under a pressurized stream of sand. As a result of variability in this process, the 1913 finish is unique. While not too noticeable, the finish is slightly coarser than that of 1911-12 and finer than the finish on the 1914-5 pieces
Adding to the desirability of this particular coin is its recent provenance. As part of the Castle Pines Collection, it was sold in August of 2021 for $336,000. The Castle Pines Collection was one of the most important modern coin collections focusing on U.S. gold pieces. With Gem-quality coins dating from shortly after the Mint’s founding up to and including the last U.S. gold coins struck in 1932.
1913 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Design
The obverse features a full-length image of 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 edge of the coin bears the national motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, in raised letters that alternate with 13 raised stars.
Bidding ends on Sunday, September 11 at 7:56 Pacific Time (10:56 Eastern).
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