1929 marked an inflection point in both the history of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle and the country that produced it. As the Great Depression began to encompass all Americans (citizens of some regions of the country registered economic disturbances years prior, but “Black Tuesday” looms large in the United States’ collective memory), the U.S. Mint produced a declining number of gold double eagles. All dates 1929-1933 are scarce. The 1929 is the most available of this date run, but in Gem Mint State grades it is a condition rarity. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is excited to offer lot 3289, a beautiful Gem, graded MS-65 by PCGS, in Rarities Night of our upcoming Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring 2023 Expo.
The Philadelphia Mint struck 1,779,750 Saint-Gaudens double eagles in 1929, a mintage on the small size even of the scarcer branch mint issues. This coupled with its scarcity in mid-to-high Mint State grades, places the 1929 among what some experts call the “Fab Five” of late date issue double eagles of the type, a list that also includes the 1930-S, 1931-D, 1931, and 1932. According to a 2006 blog post on his website, U.S. gold coin expert Doug Winter describes the 1929 as “a greatly misunderstood date.” He elaborates: “Its population figures in MS-63 and MS-64 are tremendously inflated by resubmissions. In Gem, this is among the rarest of the Fab Five and there are only three in MS66 including a piece in the Duckor collection.” At time of writing, PCGS reported 26 other examples in MS-65, with just nine finer.
In light of its status even among the Fab Five, we are very excited to be offering this attractive Gem 1929 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, and as of this writing it has already attracted a $19,000 bid! Our cataloger notes that the coin’s “bold blend of frosty mint luster and medium orange-gold patina, wisps of reddish-rose iridescence add to the significant eye appeal.” Also noted is that the coin is “sharply struck throughout with exceptionally well preserved surfaces.”
Our entire Spring 2023 Expo Auction is available for viewing and bidding at StacksBowers.com. To learn more about the sale or to inquire about future consignment opportunities call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].