1926-D $20 gold double eagle.

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The 1926-D Double Eagle is a gold coin that was minted in Denver in 1926. The Denver Mint struck 481,000 double eagles in 1926. Today, only 600 survive. Yes, it’s quite remarkable how few of the 1926-D Double Eagles have survived over the years. The combination of historical circumstances, including significant melting of coins and their shipment overseas, has contributed to the rarity of this particular coin.

The 1926-D Double Eagle stands out as one of the most elusive and underappreciated coins within the entire series. Finding one in the market is a rare occurrence, and when they do surface, they typically fall within the MS-60 or MS-61 grading range, at best. A full MS-63 graded 1926-D is genuinely a scarce find, and beyond that level, locating a 1926-D becomes an exceedingly daunting task. Most 1926-D double eagles are well struck, but a small number of them are weakly struck.

1926-D $20 SAINT GAUDENS NGC AU55 (US $20,900.00 on sale by Ebay seller US Coin)

In Heritage Auctions’ January 2023 Fun Signature Sale, a notable highlight is the offering of a 1926-D Double Eagle, graded as MS-62 by NGC. This particular Denver issue holds significance within a group of Branch mint dates from the 1920s, which had experienced substantial melting. It’s worth noting that of the 481,000 coins minted early in the year, nearly all were stowed away in storage vaults. According to Roger Burdette, the esteemed author of the authoritative 2018 reference on Saint-Gaudens double eagles, it is estimated that only around 600 pieces of this coin have survived. Many of them had been sent to Europe as part of international trade and gradually made their way back to the United States during the mid-20th century. These coins often display lustrous surfaces with a satiny texture, and their strike definition is generally strong throughout. While this uncirculated 1926-D20 exhibits minor abrasions, it still possesses a remarkable appeal, especially given its rarity in the market.

  • The production of the 1926-D twenty-dollar gold coin occurred exclusively during the months of February and March in the year 1926. The overwhelming majority of these coins were promptly stored away, remaining untouched until their unfortunate fate of being melted down in 1935. Nonetheless, a select few found their way to Europe and only made their return to the United States in later years.
  • In the present day, approximately three-quarters of the surviving 1926-D twenties are found in circulated condition, with most reaching a grade of MS62. This grade places the coin in the upper tier of more accessible specimens within this series. These coins exhibit the anticipated lustrous surfaces, boasting a satin finish characteristic of their era. Moreover, the strike definition on these coins is generally robust and well-defined throughout.
  • The coin weighs 33.40 grams and is made of 90% gold and 10% copper.

The 1926-D was regarded as a greater rarity than its counterpart, the 1927-D. Until the early 1950s, only the 1924-S was deemed scarcer, with only a scant handful of known examples. While a few more were sporadically discovered thereafter, there have been no reports of hoards, not even small ones, containing these elusive coins.

The value of a 1926-D Double Eagle can vary depending on its condition. According to USA Coin Book, the coin is worth an estimated $8,415 in average condition and can be worth up to $28,587 or more in higher grades. The coin has been graded by various coin grading services, such as PCGS and NGC, with grades ranging from MS62 to MS65.

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2 responses to “1926-D $20 gold double eagle.”

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  1. Paget

    I’m working with a budget of less than 4K and looking for a 1926-D double eagle. I’ve heard that it’s not considered very rare compared to other dates in the series. I prefer one that’s slabbed and in decent condition. I’m uncertain about the impact of factors like rarity and condition on the coin’s value. Should I prioritize rarity over condition or vice versa? Is it better to go for a coin in bad condition but rare, or one in good condition but common? Also, does the production quantity, mint mark, or presence of a motto on the back matter? I’d appreciate some guidance on these aspects.

    1. Alexandre Laurent

      The majority of 1926-D double eagles exhibit strong strikes, but there is a limited subset that shows weakness along the borders, especially on the lower obverse. As of 2024, the ones graded as M63 number around 2,700.




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