The 1915 proof twenty was a milestone in the series of sandblast (matte) proof twenties for two reasons. The mintage was a mere 50 pieces, lowest in the series, and it was the final year of issue for this special finish on U.S. gold coinage. The minuscule mintage probably represented the core number of collectors in the country who would purchase a proof twenty for their collection each year, regardless of the method of manufacture. The last time only 50 proof double eagles were produced was in 1894. The years between then and the end of the Coronet series in 1907 ranged from 50 pieces up to a high of 158 proofs in 1903. The new dime, quarter, and half dollar that went into production in 1916 had different field curvature and unevenness, similar to the twenty dollar coins, and accordingly were unsuited for traditional brilliant proofing methods.
The surfaces are usually darker than on 1911-1913 coins. Nevertheless, magnification shows bright, sparkling individual facets on each side. This PR65 example displays the expected coarser texture, as seen on the 1914 in the Ferrari Collection. The color is just slightly more yellow than the 1914, however. A couple of shiny spots are seen over the high points of the design, and the only contact marks (tiny ones at that) are widely scattered over the reverse.