Expert Comments

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.


Ron Guth

The 1932 $20 is one of the final six issues of the St. Gaudens Double Eagles (the others being 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1933). All are very rare, especially the famous 1933.  Among these six, the 1932 is near the middle of the pack in terms of rarity.  The 1929 has the largest population, followed by the 1931-D, then the 1932.  Akers thought that 50 to 60 1932 Double Eagles survived, and we estimate that there are roughly 100 survivors, but this might be slightly low based on the numbers in the PCGS Population Report and the NGC Census.  There may be as many as 125 to 150 examples "out there" but they are so widely dispersed, and they appear on the market so infrequently, and the demand for the coins is so strong, that collectors continue to push the prices higher for this date.

The grade distribution for the 1932 $20 is not as wide as Akers believed.  In fact, the majority of the known population huddles around the MS64 to MS65 level, with a few coins on either side.  No truly superb (MS67) has been identified yet, but there are perhaps a dozen that qualify at the MS66 level.

Akers' comments concerning luster, eye appeal, color, and strike characteristics remain accurate.

PCGS #
9194
Designer
Augustus Saint Gaudens
Edge
Lettered
Diameter
34.00 millimeters
Weight
33.40 grams
Mintage
1101750
Metal
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Pop Higher
1
Pop Lower
71
Region
The United States of America
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades
65 or Better 93 R-8.0 4 / 49 4 / 54
All Grades 86 R-8.1 6 / 49 6 / 54
60 or Better 52 R-8.4 22 / 49 TIE 22 / 54 TIE
65 or Better 93
All Grades 86
60 or Better 52
65 or Better R-8.0
All Grades R-8.1
60 or Better R-8.4
65 or Better 4 / 49
All Grades 6 / 49
60 or Better 22 / 49 TIE
65 or Better 4 / 54
All Grades 6 / 54
60 or Better 22 / 54 TIE

Condition Census Learn More

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade  
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66+

Kevin Lipton, 1984 - David Akers - Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection - Heritage 1/2012:4652, $184,000 - A&A Saints Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS66 PCGS grade  
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66

Pierson MacDonald Grieve Collection - Heritage 7/2008:2133, $126,500

2 MS66 PCGS grade  
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66

Ralph P. Muller Collection - Heritage 1/2010:2341, $161,000

2 MS66 PCGS grade  
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66

Richmond Collection, Part I - David Lawrence 7/2004:2438, $92,000 - John Kutasi Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3310, $138,000 - Carter Family Collection - Heritage 4/2010:2370, $126,500

2 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2010:3653, $126,500

 
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66+ 
#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Kevin Lipton, 1984 - David Akers - Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection - Heritage 1/2012:4652, $184,000 - A&A Saints Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

 
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66 
#2 MS66 PCGS grade

Pierson MacDonald Grieve Collection - Heritage 7/2008:2133, $126,500

 
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66 
#2 MS66 PCGS grade

Ralph P. Muller Collection - Heritage 1/2010:2341, $161,000

 
	PCGS #9194 (MS) 66 
#2 MS66 PCGS grade

Richmond Collection, Part I - David Lawrence 7/2004:2438, $92,000 - John Kutasi Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3310, $138,000 - Carter Family Collection - Heritage 4/2010:2370, $126,500

MS66 PCGS grade #2 MS66 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2010:3653, $126,500