1905 $20 MS64 PCGS. The Philadelphia double eagle issues of 1904 and 1905 are a study in contrasts. The 1904's mammoth mintage of over 6.2 million pieces slaked demand for the denomination, and the mother Mint struck just 58,919 examples in 1905. In addition, while the former is ubiquitous in Choice condition, a near-Gem representative of the latter is a rarity, and anything finer is unknown.
This pleasingly detailed piece shines beneath significant haze over much of the obverse and parts of the reverse, which is suggestive of long-term storage and possible repatriation. The predominantly sun-gold surfaces on and around the portrait give way to vibrant orange-gold on the opposite side. A tiny reddish alloy spot near star 4 and a similar, albeit larger area near the base of the eagle's left (facing) wing further attest to this survivor's originality. NGC has graded just one example in MS64 and PCGS has certified only nine, with none finer at either service (10/07). Certified in a green label holder.
From The Fleur Wales-Baillie Collection.