1920-S $20 AU55

CERTIFICATION#: -35691
PCGS#: 9171

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Ex. Kolman Sale (1958) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $30800

Expert Comments

David Akers (1975/88): The 1920-S is one of the top condition rarities of the entire series. In fact, it is the second rarest collectible issue, only slightly less rare than the 1921 and actually more rare than a 1927-D or 1907 Extremely High Relief in MS-64 or higher grade! The finest specimen I know of is in the Browning Collection held in trust by a Texas bank; it is virtually perfect in all respects with great color and lustre and bagmark-free, satiny surfaces. I graded it MS-67 when I saw it. Eliasberg's specimen (now owned by Dr. Steven Duckor) is another full gem as is the example in the collection of a prominent Eastern collector. Only a few others qualify as gems or near gems, including one in my personal collection graded "MS-64" by PCGS. There are far more collectors of high quality Saint-Gaudens $20s around than there are Mint State 1920-S double eagles, especially top quality ones.

The 1920-S is usually softly struck on the lower obverse near the rim, especially affecting the Capitol building and stars. However, it is generally sharp elsewhere. Lustre is typically very good to excellent. Most Mint State examples, particularly the higher grade ones, have excellent color, usually a rich orange color, often with traces of green and gold. The surfaces of some specimens have a beautiful satiny sheen, but most examples are frosty. On some examples, there is a peculiar, triangle shaped shiny spot that almost appears to be an abrasion near the reverse rim above the eagle's beak, but it is identical on all specimens on which it appears and is, therefore, "as made."

 

Diameter: 34.00 millimeters Designer: Augustus Saint Gaudens Edge: Lettered
Mintage: 558,000 Weight: 33.40 grams Metal Content: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 150 R-7.5 6 / 49 TIE 6 / 54 TIE
60 or Better 73 R-8.2 5 / 49 5 / 54
65 or Better 6 R-9.7 2 / 49 TIE 2 / 54 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

“Old-time collection” - sold by Todd Imhof of Heritage Auctions to Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection in early 2006 - Heritage 1/2012:4629, $575,000

1 MS66 PCGS grade  

Louis Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:1051, $30,800 - David Akers - Dr. Steven Duckor - Philip Morse - Heritage 11/2005:6641, $517,500

3 MS65 PCGS grade   Heritage ANA 8/2004:7782 (as PCGS MS65 50075909), not sold
3 MS65 PCGS grade  

Heritage 1/2011:5314, $212,750

3 MS65 PCGS grade  

Heritage 8/2007:2074, $264,500