1921 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle brings $144,000 to lead Heritage's US Coins Auction above $6.2 million
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1921 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle brings $144,000 to lead Heritage's US Coins Auction above $6.2 million
1921 $20 MS62 PCGS. The 1921 is a leading condition rarity in the popular Saint-Gaudens double eagle series one of the few issues from the 1920s that is seen more often in circulated grades than Mint State.

DALLAS, TX.- A rare 1921 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS62 PCGS sold for $144,000 to lead March 28-31 US Coins Signature® Auction to $6,241,741.

The event’s top lot came after the coin drew 39 bids from among the 2,723 bidders who took part in the sold-out event.

“This was an exceptional result for an exceptional coin,” says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “It is a leading condition rarity in the series, and part of what makes it so desirable is the fact that it is one of the few issues from the 1920s that is seen more often in circulated grades than in Mint State. More than a half million were originally minted, but it is believed only 175 remain in existence. This coin is a fantastic addition to any collection.”

Two coins — an 1882 Double Eagle AU58 NGC and a 1915-S Panama-Pacific Round Fifty Dollar, MS65+ NGC — pushed for top honors in the event, each closing at $138,000. The 1882 double eagle tied the previous auction record, which was set at Heritage in 2007 for an MS60 PCGS coin. It is a survivor from a miniscule population; the 1882 was not a proof-only issue, but it might as well have been, as just 571 pieces were struck for circulation — of which maybe two dozen are believed to remain in any grade; the small number of survivors is explained, in part, by the fact that collectors at the time preferred proofs almost exclusively. The 1915-S Panama-Pacific is among the massive fifty-dollar “slugs” designed by California sculptor Robert Ingersoll Aitken to commemorate the Panama-Pacific Exposition. This magnificent round representative is one of just 483 pieces distributed.

An 1860 Clark, Gruber Eagle, K-3, MS61 NGC, CAC, from the one-time banking partnership in Leavenworth, Kansas, set a new record when it ended at $114,000. The previous record of $111,625 for an MS63 NGC coin, was set at Heritage in 2014. The obverse design features the artist’s conception of Pike’s Peak that was not very realistic, and subsequently was replaced the following year by the more familiar head of Liberty.

A fifth coin, a 1929 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS65+ PCGS, also reached six figures when it also drew a winning bid of $114,000. The United States stopped producing most gold coinage after 1904, but continued to mint double eagles, because they were better-suited for settling large accounts in foreign trade and the government was required to back its currency with gold. The Philadelphia Mint struck nearly 1.8 million Saint-Gaudens double eagles in 1929 ... of which 1.75 million never left Mint vaults, and 74 were destroyed in assay testing, and most of the remaining cache of 29,676 either were stored in the Mint cashier’s safe or delivered to the Treasurer’s office to help pay depositors or supply sales to collectors. After a 1931 melting, just 1,176 of the 1929 double eagles that were ever released into private hands remained, no more than 350 of which survived.

A 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel, MS64 NGC drew 38 bids on its way to $72,000. Among the rarest and most sought-after issues of the popular series, this elusive variety was not discovered until the 1930s, by which time the coins had been widely circulating for more than a decade; as a result, it rarely is found in Mint State, especially in MS64. Like most 20th-century overdates, the 1918/7-D nickel was the result of a double hubbing error that occurred in late 1917, when dies dated 1917 were still in use and dies for the next year were hurriedly manufactured.

A 1793 Chain Cent, AMERICA, S-3, B-4, Low R.3, XF45 NGC, which represents one of five die combinations for America’s first large cent coinage, reached $66,000. Based on Elias Boudinot’s 1795 report on the Mint, it is certain that Chief Coiner Henry Voigt engraved these early dies for the 1793 copper coins.

Other top results included, but were not limited to:

• $52,800: 1885 Twenty Dollar, AU55 NGC
• $52,800: 1929 Half Eagle, MS64+ PCGS. CAC
• $50,400: 1892-S Morgan Dollar, MS61 NGC
• $49,200: 1799 B-16, BB-158 Dollar, MS63 NGC
• $48,000: 1795 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, AU55

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