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Legendary 1854-O Liberty Double Eagle--An AU50 PCGS Representative of the Second Rarest O-Mint Gold Coin

1854-O $20 AU50 PCGS. One date in this long-lived series is both the second rarest O-mint Double Eagle and the third rarest Type One Double Eagle. Those two laurels belong to the 1854-O. After a high of 315,000 pieces produced in 1851, O-mint Double Eagle production fell each succeeding year until a temporary low of only 3,250 pieces was reached in 1854. All survivors of the 1854-O delivery, and there are no more than 35 coins, are identifiable by obverse die file marks (as produced) at the TY in LIBERTY. Since no Mint State 1854-O Double Eagles are extant, the 5-7 About Uncirculated survivors all qualify for Condition Census standing. According to our records, the following examples are the only certified AU representatives to appear at auction over the past decade:

1. Ex: January 31-February 2, 1993 Auction (Superior, 1-2/1993), lot 1484, where it realized $39,600. Certified AU50 by PCGS.

2. Ex: California Sale (Goldbergs, 10/2000), lot 1142, where it realized $81,650. Also certified AU50 by PCGS.

3. Ex: Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/2000), lot 780, where it realized $103,500. An AU55 PCGS example.

4. Ex: FUN Signature Sale--The Eagle Collection (Heritage, 1/2002), lot 4011, where it realized $92,000. Certified AU58 by NGC.

We have been unable to trace the pedigree of the present example, but future catalogers should note that there is an identifying scrape on the obverse over the right center of the 8 in the date. One will need a loupe to discern that feature. The balance of the abrasions are either small or moderate in size, but none are individually conspicuous. Sharply struck with light, evenly distributed wear, the surfaces are colored in rich olive-gold and orange-gold shades. Traces of the original prooflike finish are still evident in many of the more protected areas around the devices. Perhaps the most important O-mint coin in this collection, this '54-O Double Eagle is certain to elicit strong bids from dedicated Southern gold collectors.
From the Ashland City Collection. (NGC ID# 268T, PCGS# 8912)

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Auction Dates
January, 2003
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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Page Views: 396

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