The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece once owned by Louis Eliasberg Sr. has traded hands for ?in excess of $1.9 million,? according to seller North American Certified Trading.
Andrew Glassman, president of NATC, described the buyer as ?an anonymous East Coast collector.?
The coin is graded MS-66 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
?Numismatic history has been made; this is the highest price ever paid for a 1927-D Saint, in excess of $1.9 million,? Glassman said.
The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle is regarded as one of the rarest regular-issue 20th century U.S. gold coins. The Denver Mint struck 180,000 $20s in 1927, but the Great Depression resulted in most of those being melted.
?This is one of the all-time rare coins of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series, and the buyer is delighted to now own this historic gold piece,? said Gene Nesheim, NACT sales manager.
In his reference book A Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins, 1907-1933, author David Akers stated: ?It is difficult to pick out one piece as the ?finest?; but that accolade most likely should go to the Eliasberg specimen.?
In addition to Eliasberg, this coin?s pedigree also includes F.C.C. Boyd, a prominent coin and paper money collector of the early 20th century.
In 1988 Akers estimated 12 to 15 surviving 1927-D $20s, and in 2004 Q. David Bowers estimated approximately 15. Two are held by the Smithsonian Institution.
PCGS and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. have certified a combined total of 10 1927-D double eagles. That figure may include resubmissions.
A 1927-D $20, graded MS-65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., realized $1,322,500 in Heritage?s Signature Auction Jan. 3-7 at the Florida United Numismatists convention.
The Eliasberg example was sold at auction for $176,000 in 1982. It subsequently changed hands privately several times and was acquired by NACT in 2006.