The 1921 Double Eagle, Exceptional Rarity

Exceptionally rare, highly coveted. That’s the 1921 double eagle.

Original mintage was 528,500, but almost all of these coins were melted down.

The remaining coins were in circulation for more than ten years prior to the great gold recall of the early 1930s, so it’s incredibly difficult to find Mint State coins in this year.

What’s the auction record for the 1921? A PCGS MS63 coin sold all the way back in 2006 for $1,495,000 at a Bowers & Merena auction.

The second highest auction sale of a 1921 Saint was at Heritage Auctions 2005. The MS66 graded PCGS coin sold for $1,092,500.

What’s Great About the 1921 Saint?

Coin expert David Akers says the 1921 double eagle, “has always been recognized as being among the top four rarities of the series, both 70 years ago and today.”

Rarity is the key with the 1921 double eagle. With a relatively high number of 528,500 double eagle’s struck, most were melted down.

That leaves only 40 to 60 coins from 1921 in mint state grades.

Also, it’s important to note most double eagle’s were struck at multiple U.S. Mints each year. But with the U.S. economy sputtering in 1921 after the end of World War I, double eagle gold coins were only struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

There’s only four 1921 double eagle coins in MS-65 or higher.

Two MS-66 coins, and two MS-65’s. All four are PCGS grades.

As is the case with any super-rare double eagle, looking over the roster of past owners you will recognize almost every name. All the great collectors went after the 1921 Saint with a vengeance.

George Seymour Godard, and Philip H. Morse both owned a MS-66.

Louis E. Eliasberg, Steven Duckor, Philip Morse (again) Dr. Charles W. Green, and Jerome Kern all held a MS-65 coin at one time.

One big current collector name that turns up on one of the MS-65 coins is Bob Simpson. As of now, he appears to be the owner of one of the MS-65 coins after buying in 2005 at a Heritage Auction for $805,000.

Only Four Coins

Let’s think about rarity of the 1921 Saint compared to other double eagle years.

There is no other year, not even the 1927-D, where it’s more difficult to find a MS-64 or higher grade.

With only four coins MS-64 or higher (2 coins MS-65 and 2 coins MS-66) the 1921 series stands alone.

For many double eagle years, MS-67 is the rarity point where there’s only a handful of coins graded higher. Other series have dozens in MS-68 and MS-69 marking the rarity point.

Why does this matter?

Because the four current owners of the MS-65 and MS-66 1921 coins might not sell them for decades. And if you know someone who might be selling their coin, please give me a call!

These four coins will command huge million-dollar prices the next time they are offered – I can only assume.

Let’s go one step further and look at the MS-64 and MS-63’s.

NCG records show only 7 MS-63 coins and just one MS-64.

Over at PCGS, their records estimate about 150 known coins MS-61 or higher. Incredible rarity!

How Can You Buy a 1921 Double Eagle?

Adding a 1921 Saint to your collection might be difficult, but not impossible.

Keep your eyes peeled at all the usual online auctions. They will pop up from time-to-time.

Also, be sure to check back here. I’m planning to add a few features that will alert the best collectors when a true rarity like the 1921 Saint hits the market.

1921 double eagle saint gaudens
1921 saint gaudens

Don’t miss it! My episode about creating the Saint Gaudens double eagle gold coins –