David Akers (1975/88): For some unknown reason, the 1932 has been generally regarded over the past 10 to 15 years as being the rarest issue of the five late issues from 1929 to 1932. In my experience, this is not correct, and I feel that it is more rare than only the 1929, although admittedly there is probably very little difference in overall population rarity between the 1931, 1931-D and 1932. the 1930-S is distinctly more rare than the 1932 overall and both the 1930-S and 1931-D are considerably arer in gem condition. The 1931 and even the 1929 are also seen less often in MS-65 condition than the 1932. So rather than being the rarest of the five issues in gem condition, it is actually the most common. (Of course, one must keep in mind that "common" is a very relative term here. The 1932 is by no means "common" in any absolute sense and, in fact, it is very rare in any condition.) The 50 to 60 known examples are spread rather evenly over the Mint State grades from MS-60 to MS-64, and even true gems (MS-65 quality coins) are not appreciably rarer than lower grade Mint State ones. Several known examples of this issue are distinctly better than MS-65, at least MS-65+ if not full MS-67.
Most 1932 double eagles are very frosty, but some have a definite satiny texture to the surface. Typically, the 1932 is very sharply struck, although it is not unusual to find a specimen, usually one of the satiny ones, with a softness or lack of definition on the figure of Liberty. Some specimens have obvious signs of metal flow near the rims. As a rule, a high-grade 1932 is a great looking coin with otustanding lustre and color. The 1932 is superior in this regard to the other late issues except possibly the 1930-S. The color on most specimens is a medium to rich yellow or greenish gold but there are also a number of examples with light to medium orange and greenish gold color. "Eye appeal" for this issue is well above average for the series.
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