$20 1927-S MS 63 PCGS
There are few other series in U.S. numismatics where mintage figures are as useless an indicator of rarity as they are with the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle series of 1907-1933. Take for example the 1927-S. With an original delivery of 3.1 million pieces, the '27-S should be equally as plentiful as the common-date '27-P (2.9 million coins produced). Such is not the case, however, as the 1927-S is actually one of the rarest issues of its type. The reason for this disparity is that, whereas the '27-P was largely distributed into commercial channels within a few years of delivery, most examples of the '27-S remained in federal vaults through the early 1930s. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued the Gold Recall Act in March of 1933, these undistributed '27-S Double Eagles were melted.
Today, it is unlikely that more than 60 or so examples have survived, most of which showed up individually or in very small groups within shipments of Double Eagles that returned from Europe over the last few decades.
One of the rarest and most important coins that we have offered this year, the impressive 1927-S Double Eagle in this lot would make a significant addition to even the finest collection of U.S. gold. Boldly, if not sharply impressed throughout, both sides are awash in warm green-gold and orange-gold colors that compete for dominance as the coin rotates under a light. The luster is full with a softly frosted texture, and wispy, small-size abrasions do little more than define the MS-63 grade. There are none of the distracting alloy spots that are frequently associated with Double Eagles of this date and mintmark combination, and the eye appeal is sufficiently strong for the Choice designation. Worthy of a strong bid, it may be quite some time before another attractive example of this 20th century gold rarity becomes available in the market.