Numerous Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagles dated from the 1920s and
1930s ended up in the melting pot. As such, these issues are often
much rarer than the mintages would suggest.
For example, the 1920-S double eagle has a recorded mintage of
558,000, but Heritage estimates that only 65 to 75 examples of the
issues exist in Mint State grades and the population of survivors only
gets a small boost with the addition of lightly circulated examples.
1920 represented the first year of production of double eagles since
1916, and while 1920 Philadelphia Mint double eagles had a lower
mintage of 228,250, they are generally plentiful. 1920-S double eagles
had a much lower survival rate and nearly all of them were melted into
This one, graded MS-60 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., in part due to
a weak strike and numerous shallow marks, brought $38,187.50 at
Heritage Auctions' March 20 sale of the Bently Collection.