Each month, ASI’s Spotlight coin program provides in-depth information and analysis of a coin, or coin set, that we believe is of good value and will put you in a position to succeed in the future. The process of finding, selecting and obtaining coins for this program takes months of work and effort before a offer is released to you. However, we will only have a limited number of coins or sets, available. If something is truly a ‘deal,’ then it cannot be open-ended. While every coin is not for every person, we will only Spotlight coins that meet our specific criteria and are priced correctly. We want you to buy the “Right Coin at the Right Price” for your portfolio. The right coin for you serves your goals and needs.
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October Spotlight Coin
These S-Mint Liberties are a True Treasure!
By Brian Zweig
Lately, with gold in the spotlight, $20 Double Eagles have received a tremendous amount of attention. Both new and veteran investors alike have turned to them as a sound and attractive way to own gold. These big, beautiful vintage coins offer a high metallic content, a reasonable premium, and tons of historic intrigue. They’re not just a savvy way to own bullion; these classic Double Eagles are an enjoyable store of value too!
Just as a surge of demand has developed for bullion, premiums have jumped for many U.S. Double Eagles too. Vintage coins, after all, are no longer minted and have a finite supply. This basic fact has resulted in major spikes in Double Eagle values. However, we’ve identified one slice of the $20 gold coin market that remains truly undervalued: Uncirculated San Francisco $20 Liberties.
If you encounter a $20 “Lib” in Mint State grades, you are mostly likely to encounter a 1900-P, 1904-P, or 1907-P. These three issues were all struck in Philadelphia – and are by far the easiest to source. Specimens struck at the San Francisco branch mint, meanwhile, are decidedly scarcer. While this statement is true for all S-mint dates, some are surprisingly rare despite their reasonable price tag. Those are the exact coins we have to offer today!
The San Francisco Mint traces its history to one of America’s most pivotal events: the California Gold Rush. Two problems emerged from the moment gold was first discovered. Miners needed a way to convert their findings into cash, and merchants needed a trustworthy, uniform currency. Initially, private assayers, refineries and mints filled this void. Independent firms would take in raw gold from miners, determine the weight and purity and then pay out the market value in cash. These companies would also issue coins and ingots that merchants could use in everyday trade.
While these private bullion items were mostly reliable and accurate, the average citizen preferred government-issued legal tender coins. Congress acted quickly and authorized the $20 gold piece in March 1849. Up until this point, the largest coin denomination was the $10 Eagle, which was made in sporadic quantities in the 1840s. Realizing the colossal volume of gold being extracted and entering everyday commerce, it was decided to start making a $20 Double Eagle.
Double Eagle production did not begin in earnest until 1850, when the Philadelphia and New Orleans mints began striking the $20 coin for circulation. While these two facilities struck a decent chunk of Double Eagles, they couldn’t handle the overwhelming amount of gold on the market. Furthermore, transporting the gold from California was time-consuming and treacherous.
Finally, in 1852, President Millard Fillmore recommended that a branch mint be established in San Francisco. This move was not without precedent; after gold was discovered in North Carolina and Georgia, branch mints were opened there too. This time, however, the sheer volume of gold to be converted into coinage was much greater.
As the 19th century continued, California gold production began to decline. The “low hanging fruit” of the Gold Rush had already been picked, and miners required more sophisticated methods to extract metal from the earth. Gone were the days of individual 49ers panning for gold. Miners were forced to use more advanced methods like hydraulic jets and dredging. Furthermore, the 1859 discovery of silver in Nevada drew many of the individual prospectors away from California.
Even with the muted gold production, the San Francisco Mint continued operations. However, mintages varied considerably year to year depending on local demand for coins and the volume of gold deposits. Double Eagles were struck virtually every year, but the facility quickly dropped Gold Dollars, Quarter Eagles and Three Dollar pieces from its repertoire. Even $5 and $10 coins were struck in varying quantities.
Values and Rarity
Due to their historical connection, $20 “Libs” struck at San Francisco have become treasured collectibles. However, few numismatists realize how scarce they are compared to their Philadelphia counterparts. After performing research on the series, we discovered that certain S-mint $20s are a whopping 50 to 130 (!) times rarer than the generic 1904-P, yet trade for a modest premium.
We can’t emphasize this point strongly enough. These dates are dramatically more rare than a generic MS61 $20 Liberty, yet sell for just a 15-20% premium! This appears to be a glaring valuation discrepancy to our eyes, especially when reviewing the NGC population data:
In essence, there are fourteen San Francisco dates that are anywhere from 51-129 times scarcer than the 1904 Philadelphia in MS61. We believe these specific dates represent unbeatable value, as they should command significantly larger premiums. At less than $3,000 per coin, the market is simply overlooking these rarities. They are basically hiding in plain sight!
How compelling of a bargain are these? In exact dollars and cents, here’s what we can offer:
- Buy one (1) piece at $2,849.
- Buy three (3) pieces at $2,799 per coin with free shipping and a guaranteed mix of three different dates!
- Buy five (5) pieces at $2,779 per coin with free shipping and a guaranteed mix of five different dates! Please note that we only have four of these 5-date sets.
- BEST VALUE: Buy ten (10) pieces at $2,749 per coin with free shipping and a guaranteed mix of ten different dates! Please note that we only have three of these 10-date sets.
This combination of rarity, historical intrigue, and low premiums is highly unusual to say the least. With bullion starting to heat up around election time – and vintage U.S. gold coins likely to follow suit – this opportunity may not last for long.
Take advantage of this chance to own truly rare San Francisco $20 Liberties for a tiny spread over their “generic” value. We have just sixty (60) coins available and we doubt they will remain for long. In particular, the guaranteed date sets will be among the first to go.
Act now and pounce on this special offering! Call us at 800-831-0007, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Prices subject to change based on market fluctuation and product availability. Prices reflected are for cash, check, or bank wire. Free shipping, handling, and insurance are available for all quantities ordered. Offer expires Friday, October 23, 2020 or while supplies last.