Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,125 posts in this topic

On 11/28/2021 at 9:03 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

The minimum price wasn't reached -- no bids.  Here they are:

Those 2 MS67s look pretty bagged up & the GC photos don't help them much because of their preoccupation with trying to highlight luster. I'm always extremely suspicious  when a 5-figure coin is in a pre-TrueView holder. I was recently looking at this coin.

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It looks like 3 choices. #1) Fly down to Florida to look at it (NO) #2) Trust a dealer to look at it for me (NO) #3) Roll the dice for 55K (NO)

There is no excuse for a crappy picture of a coin today but they are getting advertised by collectors, dealers & auction houses.

 

Edited by Cat Bath
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On 12/8/2021 at 8:08 PM, Cat Bath said:

Those 2 MS67s look pretty bagged up & the GC photos don't help them much because of their preoccupation with trying to highlight luster. I'm always extremely suspicious  when a 5-figure coin is in a pre-TrueView holder. I was recently looking at this coin. It looks like 3 choices. #1) Fly down to Florida to look at it (NO) #2) Trust a dealer to look at it for me (NO) #3) Roll the dice for 55K (NO) There is no excuse for a crappy picture of a coin today but they are getting advertised by collectors, dealers & auction houses.

That is a a lousy pic (blurry, no zoom capability), but I find the close-up and zoom shots of the HA and GC auctions to be light-years better.

I'm not really a fan of TrueView, though it does highlight some blemishes.  I really want a pic from a smartphone 4K setting that shows the coin as my eye would see it, not a photography that is altering various features.

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:06 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Imagine owning one of those and seeing the population expand 30-fold !! :o  

For the NGC population census.....320 MS67 1908 NM's......and 879 WF MS67's......for MS68 No Mottos, it's 16 regular and 144 Wells Fargo.

What enquiring minds want to know -- principally mine -- is:  now that supply has risen dramatically, how should a current owner of one of these coins feel?   (shrug)

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On 12/12/2021 at 4:52 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

What enquiring minds want to know -- principally mine -- is:  now that supply has risen dramatically, how should a current owner of one of these coins feel?   (shrug)

I'm not sure if they ever sold at a rich premium even before the Wells Fargo Hoard added to the population.  Certainly, there was no price decline when they first came out as detailed in RWB's book.  A bit cheaper, if I recall.

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On 12/13/2021 at 1:19 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I'm not sure if they ever sold at a rich premium even before the Wells Fargo Hoard added to the population.  Certainly, there was no price decline when they first came out as detailed in RWB's book.  A bit cheaper, if I recall.

Actually, I mistyped....the explosion in population was really in the Super Gem grades, not MS65's which the Saints Double Eagle book's price grid lists.

I'm not sure what happened at the MS67 level and above once the Wells thing hit.  Most PUBLISHED or early-internet prices would have focused on MS65 grades I would think.  I'm not sure about the electronic dealer network.

Maybe a vet here who followed the Saint market closely back then, Roger, or Mark....can chime in.  I wasn't even following Saints at all back then.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Interesting Commentary On The 1908 No Motto WF Hoard from David Lawrence:

The 1908 No Motto double eagle is one of the most common issues of the Saint Gaudens series. Prior to the 1990s, they were one of the lowest value coins in the set. Dealers’ sight-unseen bids would specifically exclude the 1908 No Motto. This was not only due to their wide availability, but also their quality; most had low eye appeal and weren’t appealing to customers.

The entire landscape of the issue changed in the 1990s. Unbeknownst to numismatists, a massive hoard of 19,900 1908 No Motto double eagles had been traded as part of an international payment in 1917. They escaped the Gold Surrender of 1933 and remained untouched until the 1960s. At that point the original Mint bags had deteriorated, so they were put into new bags, sealed, and left alone yet again. In 1996, dealer Ron Gillio had the opportunity to purchase the hoard and was astounded by the quality of the pieces. The coins were stored briefly in a Wells Fargo bank in Las Vegas after being purchased by Gillio, then sent for grading in 1997. As a result of this brief stay, they have been dubbed the Wells Fargo hoard.

While some have certainly found their way into NGC holders, the entire group was originally graded by PCGS. However, these were no ordinary pieces; in contrast to the typical unattractive pieces, these were incredibly high quality.

Out of almost 10,000 uncirculated pieces, thousands graded MS66. There are currently approximately 9,000 coins graded MS66 by PCGS, so a decent percentage of these came from the Wells Fargo hoard. Almost 1,000 pieces graded MS67, which make up most, if not all, of the 896 pieces of the grade at PCGS.

However, these weren’t the highlight of the hoard. One hundred and one pieces graded MS68, of which there are currently 102 graded – only one found outside the hoard. The stars of the find were ten pieces which graded MS69. No other Saint Gaudens double eagles of any date had been found in MS69, making them truly shocking finds.

According to David Hall, graders of the time at PCGS pulled out the top three and “tried real hard to find one… that we could call MS70.” They narrowed it down to three, and while none of them made the cut, one was deemed the best. The label reads, “Wells Fargo–The Best One!” 

This particular piece became part of the Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage which is memorialized in the book , THE COINAGE OF AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS:  AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE PHILIP H MORSE COLLECTION, published in 2006. A year earlier, in 2005, the collection was auctioned. This “best” piece realized $94,875, which was the auction record for over a decade. Only four others have been offered at public auction, three of which sold for less than the Morse specimen.

The current record holder is the Fox specimen which sold in January of 2020 for $96,000 at Heritage’s FUN sale. It was part of the Rollo Fox Collection of $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold which included other record-setting pieces as well, including a 1927 D double eagle in MS65+ that sold for $2.16 million.

Only time will tell when the other five MS69s will come to the market, or how much they will bring when they do. Regardless, any MS69 is highly prized in a registry set and a sure sign of a truly remarkable collection.

With the first MS69 Saint Gaudens double eagles ever found, the Wells Fargo hoard forever changed the landscape of the series. Even more so, the 1908 No Motto went from an unattractive and undesirable date to including some of the finest examples ever seen.

 
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On 12/13/2021 at 3:32 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

 

[A N D... collectors seldom appreciate the distinction among:

  1. mint-fresh;
  2. freshly minted; and
  3. straight from the mint.

Uh....no.....they sprayed the bags with mint essence from the local Greek lamb restaurant...now that's a "mint fresh" bag.

[PS: Originally the US Mint used Lamb roasting bags from the Greek restaurant for coins, but the copper "toned" too quickly.]

Edited by RWB
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Super-Rare, Newly-Discovered Special Proof Heritage FUN Auction Saint:  

https://coins.ha.com/itm/saint-gaudens-double-eagles/1910-20-experimental-finish-sp66-pcgs-cac-jd-1-unique/a/1341-4776.s?ic2=mytracked-lotspage-lotlinks-12202013&tab=MyTrackedLots-101116

A copy of an apparently experimental 1910 Satin Proof that had Treasury Secretary Woodin's input is on auction over at HA.   It's SP-66+ and if the comps are real, could go for 7-figures.

The writeup for the coin has some excerpts from Roger's book, but the rest is apparently brand new; maybe Roger assisted in the write-up.  This coin is called "Newly Discovered" but either this type of coin was not known or they knew that an example or two were out there but they didn't know who had them.   

The references are to the two 1921 Special Proofs.  This coin is apparently not Satin (Roman Gold) or Matte, of which these 1910 Proofs were known (Matte pop was one, this is a different coin apparently). 

Very interesting write-up, click and read.  Registerd at both PCGS and NGC, but the population = 1.   Bidding is already at $105,000.  

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Stuff like this keeps popping up without any empirical support. Some TPGs are happy to stick arbitrary labels on slabs with nothing more than a "looks like" opinion, rather than an independent examination combined with research and analysis.

I have not seen the coin and did not contribute to any part of its slabbing, naming or sale. The photos tell me very little.

Edited by RWB
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On 12/20/2021 at 10:56 PM, RWB said:

Stuff like this keeps popping up without any empirical support. Some TPGs are happy to stick arbitrary labels on slabs with nothing more than a "looks like" opinion, rather than an independent examination combined with research and analysis.  I have not seen the coin and did not contribute to any part of its slabbing, naming or sale. The photos tell me very little.

Well, it is a relatively "new" discovery but it's been known for a few years.  Apparently, it was up for sale in 2020 at a Heritage Auction and didn't sell for the $700,000 reserve.

Do you doubt that it is an experimental proof or you just aren't 100% sure ?  

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On 12/20/2021 at 11:06 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Well, it is a relatively "new" discovery but it's been known for a few years.  Apparently, it was up for sale in 2020 at a Heritage Auction and didn't sell for the $700,000 reserve.

Do you doubt that it is an experimental proof or you just aren't 100% sure ?  

I have no information and have not examined the coin. The descriptions are filled with meaningless bologna and assumptions.

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On 12/21/2021 at 9:55 AM, RWB said:

I have no information and have not examined the coin. The descriptions are filled with meaningless bologna and assumptions.

Well, if it goes for a pretty price and others vouch for it then it would appear to be a unique coin.

At least it has a nice story......xD

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On 12/21/2021 at 11:18 AM, RWB said:

Not really - suckers and liars are born with regularity.

Your book covers proofs but no mention of the 1910 experimental, right ?  I know it doesn't have its own section -- I checked -- not sure you didn't allude to it in the other years before/after 1910.

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Man.....lots of controversy in Saints, especially lately.  To people who collect them....does this enhance the experience of collecting them for you, damage it, or leave it completely unchanged?  Just curious.

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On 12/21/2021 at 11:18 PM, Mohawk said:

Man.....lots of controversy in Saints, especially lately.  To people who collect them....does this enhance the experience of collecting them for you, damage it, or leave it completely unchanged?  Just curious.

I think anything that stimulates discussion is good, barring fraud and counterfeits sneaking past graders.  I don't follow the Proof Saints as closely as I do the biz strikes but I am curious where this coin sells.  It didn't get the reserve bid needed but maybe Covid played a part in 2020.

The 1921 Special Proofs including the Ghiradelli (?) seem legitimized but as Roger said, this one does not seem to have the same level of authentication among all the experts, researchers, and numismatists.  If it did, I would think it would have no problem getting $2 MM or more.

Let's see where the bidding ends after FUN. (thumbsu

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Neither the 1921s or the 1910 under discussion have ever had open, objective examination or discussion. Anything stated about them is opinion that has been developed independent of discussion by a wide range of participants. For example, the 1921 I examined was not struck on a medal press and was made from clashed dies. In my individual opinion it cannot be a "proof." Nor can it be "special" or "specimen" or anything else unless there is documentation - for which none has ever been presented.

I have not been asked to examine the 1910 coin. The sparse and incomplete published information mentions no documentation, and depends entirely on the "secret" examination by one company. As for 1921s, no open, objective examination or discussion has occurred.

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[If every collector were as discriminating a collector as you, 99.44% (the long advertised purity of Ivory soap) of the hobby, far from discouraging collectors, would  flourish and change the face of the landscape forever.]

 

Edited by Quintus Arrius
Die polishing.
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On 12/22/2021 at 10:24 AM, RWB said:

Neither the 1921s or the 1910 under discussion have ever had open, objective examination or discussion. Anything stated about them is opinion that has been developed independent of discussion by a wide range of participants. For example, the 1921 I examined was not struck on a medal press and was made from clashed dies. In my individual opinion it cannot be a "proof." Nor can it be "special" or "specimen" or anything else unless there is documentation - for which none has ever been presented.

Then what do you call it or think it is ?  You're not saying it's a regular 1921 Saint, are you ? 

On 12/22/2021 at 10:24 AM, RWB said:

I have not been asked to examine the 1910 coin. The sparse and incomplete published information mentions no documentation, and depends entirely on the "secret" examination by one company. As for 1921s, no open, objective examination or discussion has occurred.

Well, I have to believe that the TPGs -- both PCGS and NGC -- are not going to call a regular Saint a Proof or a Special Proof or a Specimen -- unless they have compelling reasons for it.  Their reputation is on the line, right ?

Debate is good, we can differ and yet not have ulterior motives.  Unless a seller or TPG is guilty of GROSS negligence in overgrading or overselling a coin or calling it something it clearly is not, let them call it as they see fit and then the MARKET will decide if they are right or wrong or something in between.

If this 1910 goes for 7-figures, well..........(thumbsu

 

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On 12/22/2021 at 11:11 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

[If every collector were as discriminating a collector as you, 99.44% (the long advertised purity of Ivory soap) of the hobby, far from discouraging collectors, would  flourish and change the face of the landscape forever.]

 

...please dont confuse true coin collectors with opinionated persons who dwell on conjecture n speculation for their own ends....

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On 12/22/2021 at 12:58 PM, zadok said:

...please dont confuse true coin collectors with opinionated persons who dwell on conjecture n speculation for their own ends....

I think one can be both, Z......as long as the speculation and opinions have some basis and justification.

This whole 1910 "Proof" debate has gotten me into reading those key sections of Roger's books and more write-ups on the coin over at HA, CW, etc.

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On 12/22/2021 at 1:12 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think one can be both, Z......as long as the speculation and opinions have some basis and justification.

This whole 1910 "Proof" debate has gotten me into reading those key sections of Roger's books and more write-ups on the coin over at HA, CW, etc.

...the possibilty certainly exists....as long as u think for urself n dont drink the kool-aid ur interest should pay rewards...i do agree i believe the coin in question will realize 7 figures at auction...

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On 12/22/2021 at 12:23 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Well, I have to believe that the TPGs -- both PCGS and NGC -- are not going to call a regular Saint a Proof or a Special Proof or a Specimen -- unless they have compelling reasons for it.  Their reputation is on the line, right ?

Why not? They have insinuated themselves as sole arbiters who make no disclosure of how, when and by whom the reviews are performed. They do not publish full technical data or assessments, and do not disclose the weighted impact of various parts of their assessment. That is: the TPG have become conclusion makers without use of basic scientific methods, publication of claims or presentation of contrary opinions.

This is absolutely contrary to pre-TPG times, when "discoveries" were openly discussed, debated, examined and conclusions reached by informed consensus - not arbitrary pronouncements.

There is no "reputation on the line." Very, very few collectors care - only those who wake huge profits on an unsubstantiated label claim care at all. Auction companies and resellers merely accept the TPG label as "truth" and deflect any responsibility to the TPG which then stonewalls.

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Correspondence between director Andrew, Superintendent Joyce and William Woodin, plus ANA correspondence from 1909-1910 are clear that gold collectors did not like satin proofs - they were not distinctive from circulation coins. They did not like the 1908 sandblast proofs either, but they were better than the 1909-1910 satin (not sandblasted) version. It is also clear that Andrew approved returning to sandblast for 1911, although Woodin wanted 1910 gold proofs in sandblast (in addition to the satin proofs already issued).

Far too many "experts" fail to understand that the appearance of a coin depends on multiple mechanical and metallurgical factors beyond the superficiality of type of press used or some arbitrary assumed adjective traditionally used to describe a piece.

Another way to state this is that very few modern "experts" have the technical or scientific testing skills to form a complete description of a coin. Further, even fewer have the archival research skills to connect historical materials to observations within appropriate context.

The TPGs are sales businesses and anything contrary to that is routinely rejected.

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On 12/22/2021 at 12:23 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

call a regular Saint a Proof or a Special Proof or a Specimen

PS: There are no definitions for either of those bologna terms. They are ground up hog gut and snout pressed into stinking tubes of offal.

Edited by RWB
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