1908-S $20 MS67 Certification #06666148, PCGS #9149

Expert Comments

David Akers (1975/88)

The 1908-S is a rare issue in any Mint State grade. This is one of those relatively few Saint-Gaudens issues that is seen much more often in the circulated grades than in Mint State. Most Mint State specimens are rather low quality, i.e. in the MS-60 to 62 range. At the MS-63 level or above, this issue is really very rare. However, there are a fair number of gem quality specimens around as well as several superb ones. Dr. Steven Duckor's is a nearly perfect satiny specimen and the Auction '80-Milton Holmes and Norweb specimens are also close to perfection. Eliasberg's was better than MS-65, and I own two other such specimens. Harry Bass, Dr. Thaine Price, Dr. William Crawford and a prominent Eastern collector all own gems, and there are still others, such as the one in the Browning Collection. All in all, probably 15 to 20 gem or superb quality pieces are known.

All 1908-S double eagles were struck from the dies produced from the strengthened obverse hub, so all of them show more detail on the obverse than the No Motto issues. The 1908-S is always very sharply struck. The mintmark is very tiny but usually well defined. Like the half eagle and eagle of the same date and mint, the 1908-S double eagle comes with two very different finishes; one is "soft" frosty, the other (much more rare) is very satiny. Color is usually excellent on this issue; the most often seen is greenish gold and orange although many specimens are very orange or coppery colored. Red or orange copper spots are common on this issue and some are afflicted by carbon spots. Lustre is invariably very good to excellent. In top grade, this is one of the prettiest issues of the series.
Diameter
34.00 millimeters
Designer
Augustus Saint Gaudens
Edge
Lettered
Mintage
22000
Weight
33.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
0
Pop Lower
582
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 1316 R-4.8 16 / 49 16 / 54
All Grades 466 R-6.0 11 / 49 TIE 11 / 54 TIE
60 or Better 50 R-8.5 20 / 49 TIE 20 / 54 TIE

Condition Census

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

Bob R. Simpson Collection

1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade

Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena, 11/1988:4090 - David W. Akers - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - Heritage 1/2012:4607, $161,000

1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Philip Morse - Heritage 11/2005:6559, $109,250

5 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

Bella Collection - A & A Saints Collection