Thoughts on this St. Gaudens double eagle

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by dbc99, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. dbc99

    dbc99 New Member

    Hello all,
    First time poster here. I've been putting together a type set of US coinage, and have decided to complete the coins from the 1900s before going continuing with the 1800s era ones (those coins are pretty damn expensive). Got a half eagle a few months back, and with the premiums being so low, I went ahead and bought my first double eagle. It's a raw coin, so I wanted to know the opinion of more seasoned eyes on the condition of this coin, for future reference. This coin caught my eye at a LCS, and it has a good color (I find it hard to notice coin luster for gold coins, some thoughts on that would be helpful as well). What would this coin grade? Mid to high AUs? DSCF5460.jpg DSCF5462.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  3. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    It's pretty nice for an AU. In fact, with the recent loosening of grading standards for the Saints, I feel this coin could grade MS63 right now. If the gold market turns however, the prices the coins from AU-65 would no longer be in compression, and they'd likely be harder on it when that happens.
    GoldFinger1969, Two Dogs and imrich like this.
  4. dbc99

    dbc99 New Member

    I was at the Long beach expo recently, where there were a deluge of MS 63s and 64s (didn't have enough cash on me to pick one up back then). To a more inexperienced collector like me, I liked this coin here better than most of the graded examples I saw at the expo, with their excessive bagmarks and not too pleasing color (the 64s were mostly nice enough though).
    In the future, as long as I get a reasonable price on them, do you think it is a decent idea to pick up AU examples of raw Indian and Liberty eagle and double eagles from a place I trust, or is it worth getting graded examples? I'll be going for the common dates anyway for now.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  5. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    Usually you can get them or the same price, so if I don't have to pay a premium for the slab, I'll go that way. Usually when they are raw, they tend to be overgraded but he seller - wishful thinking.
    imrich and Jmis like this.
  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Very nice looking Saint. Low MS grade I think. If they are grading tough then a high AU.

    Welcome to CT.
  7. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    If you find a dealer who handles both on a very regular basis I think you'll be fine buying raw coins from them. Dealers who handle them very regularly should be able to authenticate them well, and be able to keep an eye out for what you seek if you provide specifics.
    capthank likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Rule of thumb - common date $20 gold slabbed and graded as high as MS63 typically sells for about spot plus 10%. The reason that matters is because you can buy an XF coin and it's gonna be the same price. So keep that in mind.

    As you go down in denomination for common dates the premiums above spot increase percentage wise with each denomination drop. To a degree, the $10 coins are similar to the $20 regarding XF to 63 being roughly the same price, but as I said it's a higher percentage.

    The $5 and $2.50 coins though, on those there will be a marked difference in price between the circ grades and and the MS grades. That's because these smaller denominations actually did circulate fairly well where as the $20s did not. So MS examples of the small denominations are much harder to come by - and thus more expensive.

    Now with better date coins all this flies out the window and grade becomes everything when it comes to price - just like it does with most other coins.

    But common date $20 gold, it's basically been spot plus 10% for decades. They pretty much are and always have been treated as nothing more than bullion in grades up to and including 63.

    If you're gonna collect US gold understanding all of this is pretty important or it's all to easy to over-pay.
  9. dbc99

    dbc99 New Member

    Thanks for the feedback!
  10. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    I think it’s either a ms 63 or au 58 and really tough to call from pics. Basically it’s a slider that can go either way
    dwhiz likes this.
  11. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Looks like a smidge of rub. It is a really large, soft metal coin. MS 58, AU 63.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Your quote made me do something something today that I have been considering doing for a a great many years - find out just how hard coin gold (90% gold) really is. But I just never took the time to do it - today I did.

    Nobody ever disputes that gold is softer than silver - but that's when you're talking about pure gold and pure silver. And I guess what started me thinking about this subject many years ago was the scene that has been replayed in a thousand movies where somebody bites a gold coin. And most folks always assume that they are doing that to make sure it's real gold by biting to see if it is soft and therefore genuine. But they are not biting the coin to see if it is soft - they are biting it to see if it is hard, and therefore genuine !

    And, my experience from carrying a 1 oz AGE in my pocket for about 20 years taught me that gold coins wear very, very well - and lose almost no metal (by weight) with wear even down to grades as low as F. And I think just about everybody has seen the pictures I've posted of one of those coins. But I'll post 'em again anyway.


    AGE rev.jpg

    And over the years of course on this forum, others like it, in everyday discussions in person over the years, pretty much everybody has always assumed that gold coins were soft, softer than silver coins and therefore more subject to wear than silver coins would be. And you can count me among those who made that same assumption - because gold is softer than silver so it seems to stand to reason. Today however, I was surprised.

    This is why. What I found out was that coin gold (90% gold) is actually harder than coin silver (90% silver). Coin gold has a Vickers Hardness of 197, and coin silver has a Vickers Hardness of 148. So after all these years what I have found out is that gold coins aren't made of such a soft metal after all, gold coins are actually harder than silver coins. That means they are less susceptible to contact marks than silver coins are, and they wear better than silver coins. Like I said, I was surprised, but at last I had an answer as to why those gold coins in my pocket always wore so well :)

    And no I'm not just gonna make claims like that and not back it up. I'm gonna show ya the same things I found. This for example -


    And here's the link for it -

    And for those that don't know, 21 karat gold is 90% gold - that's where the Vickers Hardness of 197 comes from.

    And the 21 karat being 90% comes from here -


    And the link for it -

    And the number I quoted for the Vickers Hardness of coin silver comes from here -


    And the link for that -

    So who else is as surprised as I am ?
  13. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Great article. I am completely shocked. .900 fine Gold is harder than .900 fine Silver!!! Many of us experienced collectors always assumed the opposite.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  14. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    21 karat is 0.875 fine not 0.900

    0.900 fine is 21.6 karat

    0.900 fine gold is alloyed with 0.100 copper for US gold coins, not a copper-silver mix.
  15. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Correct, .900 fine equals 21.6 carats (it's not mentioned in the wikipedia article).

    0.900 x 24 = 21.6
  16. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    Using Wikipedia as an "expert" reference calls the entire story into question.
    ToughCOINS likes this.
  17. *coins

    *coins Well-Known Member

    MS58 and AU63??
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  18. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Silly semantics (not so silly) but you can blame Paul (@Lehigh96 ).........
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  19. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Yeah, the old joke about sliders.
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    And you, either one of you, really think that makes enough of a difference to say that HV of coin gold is not higher than the HV coin silver ? :rolleyes:

    Tell ya what, why don't both of you do your own research on the subject and tell us what you find. I'm willing to learn. But the question is - are you ?

    That was the whole point of my post. As I said, I myself was surprised at what I found. But I did find it, and the results show that coin gold is harder and better wearing than coin silver. While the direct opposite has long been an assumption, and obviously a false assumption, made by just about everyone.

    Ya see, like I said in the beginning, nobody disputes that pure silver is harder than pure gold. But once you start making alloys - everything changes. When alloyed, gold is actually a hard and very durable metal. And when alloyed to 90%, harder and more durable than 90% silver.

    At least based upon what I found.
  21. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    Did you happen to notice the difference between a mostly copper alloy and a copper-silver alloy at 21kt is 20%...

    I'm out
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