1908 $20 Motto MS67 Certification #06666146, PCGS #9147

Expert Comments

David Akers (1975/88)

In mid-1908, after considerable public agitation for it, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse and the obverse hub (and consequently the dies) was significantly strengthened. As a result, the 1908 With Motto appears more sharp and detailed than the earlier No Motto issues. (Interestingly, there are some 1908 With Motto specimens that have the weak 1908 No Motto obverse. I have seen only a few such specimens and they probably are quite rare.) The typical 1908 With Motto is very sharply struck and has the "soft" frosty finish; I don't recall ever seeing a satiny one. Lustre is usually a little subdued and the color is most often a light to medium greenish gold and orange. This is certainly not one of the "flashier" looking issues of the series.

In the past, this issue has sometimes been touted as being a tremendous rarity in Mint State. There is no doubt that it is very rare in MS-64 or better condition but below that level, it is only scarce, certainly not rare. Even in gem condition, I do not find it to be as rare as the 1909, 1911 or 1914 although admittedly others' experience may differ from mine. Dr. William Crawford once owned the nicest I have seen, a beautiful frosty gem he purchased from dealer Gordon Wrubel. Dr. Thaine Price owns another exceptional specimen. Dr. Steven Duckor and a prominent Eastern collector both have gems and there are others. Still, in gem condition, this is an issue that is almost never available.
Diameter
34.00 millimeters
Designer
Augustus Saint Gaudens
Edge
Lettered
Mintage
156258
Weight
33.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Country
The United States of America
Pop Higher
0
Pop Lower
3332
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 11750 R-2.9 23 / 49 TIE 25 / 54 TIE
All Grades 6833 R-3.6 24 / 49 TIE 26 / 54 TIE
60 or Better 112 R-7.8 28 / 49 28 / 54

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade

Bob R. Simpson Collection

2 MS66+ PCGS grade

“Fox” Collection

2 MS66+ PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Dr. Steven Duckor collection

4 MS66 PCGS grade