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November 27, 2020

Industry
News

Vital rare coin & paper money industry updates

Rare St. Gaudens $20 Escapes the Melting Pot, One of 0.0007% Known To Survive

Heritage Auctions · Aug 18, 2020
Press Release Auctions U.S. Coins

With gold prices on the move and hitting around $2,000 last week, there has been a 2020 "gold rush" of sorts. Despite all of this news about the yellow metal and the fact that some $20 gold pieces are available for prices closer to their gold content, certain dates of gold coins remain truly rare and difficult to locate even today. The 1926-S $20 Saint Gaudens offered by Heritage as part of Sale 1319 is a great example.





With gold prices on the move and hitting around $2,000 last week, there has been a 2020 "gold rush" of sorts. Despite all of this news about the yellow metal and the fact that some $20 gold pieces are available for prices closer to their gold content, certain dates of gold coins remain truly rare and difficult to locate even today. The 1926-S $20 Saint Gaudens offered by Heritage as part of Sale 1319 is a great example.

Over 2,000,000 coins were minted in San Francisco in 1926. However, it was only a short while later--in 1933--that President Roosevelt ordered that gold coins be recalled. A huge melt began, with many coins going straight into the pot.

This left several of the 1920s and early 1930s issues in a position of tiny survival rates despite fairly large mintages. In other words, a listed quantity of over 2,000,000 coins struck for the 1926-S means very little given that relatively few coins survived the fate of being turned into a generic gold brick rather than a historic coin!

Despite the mass meltings in the United States, European banks at this time had various US gold coins stored safely in their vaults. It was this hidden cache of rare coins that eventually made pieces such as the lot that Heritage is offering in Sale 1319 feasible for collectors to someday purchase. It was only in the 1950s -- when the 1926-S first turned up in foreign bank holdings -- that this San Francisco issue became available to collectors in some small quantity. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, numismatists believed only a half dozen or so specimens had survived the gold melts.

The population today is around 1,400 total coins in all grades certified by PCGS and NGC combined, so while some pieces have eventually turned up over the years, there are still fairly few pieces to go around given the huge demand and popularity of the St. Gaudens issues! That makes this coin one of the around 0.0007% of the mintage that survived to be certified and identified today. As a result, the 1926-S remains a challenging issue, especially in high grades such as the PCGS MS65 example being offered here.

Don't miss your chance to bid on this scarce coin and add to your date and mintmark set of pre-1933 gold coins!

Check it out here.



Comments (1)

  • Amanda Blattel

    Fantastic!

    Wednesday, August 26, 2020 7:24 AM EST

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