Not known to exist until 2006, the 1921 Roman Finish proof Saint-Gaudens double eagle authenticated and graded NGC PF-64+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and stickered by CAC, will be publicly displayed in July for the first time in nearly a decade.
From the collection of Brian Hendelson of New Jersey, it will be exhibited by Heritage Auctions at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Summer 2021 Convention in Orlando, July 8-10.
“Heritage will also display the fourth known 1854-S Liberty Half Eagle that was discovered in 2018,” said Jim Stoutjesdyk, vice president of numismatics at Heritage. “Of the four, only two are in private hands including this previously unknown example now encapsulated PCGS XF-45, one is in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another 1854-S gold $5 has been missing for a half century.”
An 1854-S $5 gold piece was stolen from industrialist Willis duPont in Coconut Grove, Fla., in 1967 and is still unaccounted for. The duPont family has declared in writing that it has no claims to the coin that will be exhibited at the FUN convention and offered at auction by Heritage along with the 1921 proof double eagle later this year.
On display at booth #703 during the FUN summer event, both the 1921 Roman Finish proof Saint-Gaudens $20 and 1854-S Liberty Head $5 will be among the top highlights of Heritage’s Platinum Night auction at the American Numismatic Association’s 2021 Chicago World’s Fair of Money in August.
“No examples of Roman Finish proofs for 1921 double eagles were known until 2000 when a circulated example was discovered,” said Hendelson. Then in 2006, the numismatic community was stunned when this second coin in superb condition surfaced and was authenticated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Both proofs are believed to have been struck as presentation pieces by authority of Raymond T. Baker, who was director of the United States Mint in 1921.”
This 1921 proof $20 denomination gold coin has previously only been publicly exhibited twice, at the 2010 and 2013 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money conventions in Boston and Chicago, respectively. A special brochure about the coin and how Hendelson helped discover it and battled to get it will be available at the Heritage Auctions booth at the FUN show.
When it was authenticated in 2006, NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg stated: “The 1921 proof ranks highly among the truly important recent numismatic discoveries … it is earth shattering to encounter a coin like this for the first time outside of a museum or marquis collection. This is world-class numismatic treasure.”
Roman Finish proof coins, also known as Satin Finish proof, were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1909 and 1910, although some examples are known from later years, such as the relatively recent discoveries of the 1921 Roman Finish proof double eagles. The Roman Finish combines a brilliant proof surface with a matte finish surface and are considered by some collectors as the most beautiful proof coins struck by the United States.