Handbook of Twentieth Century United States Gold Coins

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9780943161198: Handbook of Twentieth Century United States Gold Coins

Bowers & Merena Galleries [Published date: 1988]. Hard cover, 182 pp.. [Excerpt from Preface] Foreword By Q. David BowersIn 1975 David W. Akers produced a landmark reference: United States Gold Coins, An Analysis of Auction Records, Gold Dollars, 1849-1889. Each issue in the gold dollar series was illustrated, described and evaluated on the basis of the frequency of its auction sale appearances. During the next seven years additional volumes were created, through the double eagle series.In 1982, when I catalogued the Eliasberg Collection of United States gold coins, the most complete collection ever to cross the auction block (and which realized $12.4 million), I had each of David Akers' books at my side, to help me determine how rare certain issues were and to aid in the study of other characteristics. Now,years later, the series of David W. Akers' earlier gold books are classics, with some titles being out of print.These excellent studies served as a jumping-off point for the present volume. The excellent methodology employed earlier has been improved, with the result that the current study includes not only auction data, but information based upon surveys of private collections, plus the author's extensive professional experience.Among all American gold coins, the designs of the 20th century are the most popular. The illustrious $10 and $20 motifs conceived by noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the $2 1/2 and $5 pieces designed by Bela Lyon Pratt each have strong followings. The trouble heretofore for all these series is that little information has been available concerning the true rarity of issues in higher grades. It is my opinion that for double eagles in particular, issues prior to 1920 were circulated fairly extensively in banking and other channels, with the result that relatively few Mint State pieces found their way into hoards. From the 1920s onward, the situation changed and gold coins were used very little in banking channels.

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Akers, David W.
Published by Bowers & Merena Galleries (1988)
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