1856-O $20 XF45 PCGS. CAC....
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Extended Payment Plan for Heritage Owned Inventory Items(excludes Virtual Bourse, Comic Market and Virtual Sports Show)
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Note: The extra increment won't be placed until the item is up for live bidding, so it is possible that you could be outbid by a bid placed prior to live bidding, such as another proxy bid, live proxy bid, mail bid, etc., which could result in your losing the lot by that one increment. For the same reason, it is also possible that a currently losing bid with bid protection placed could potentially win the lot once the lot is subject to live bidding and the Bid Protection increment(s) is placed.
To claim that the two issues are rare is an understatement. Focusing on the 1856-O, just 10 certification events are present in the NGC Census Report and a mere 12 pieces are identified in the PCGS Population Report; almost assuredly, there is some overlap between the two sources of certified data, as well as within them due to resubmissions. Add in a handful of impaired examples, and an estimate of 20 to 30 survivors, as published by Doug Winter in his Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, appears accurate. This is a slightly smaller pool of available pieces than is known for the 1854-O, which holds true through most grades, though in Mint State, the 1856-O actually offers a prospect for owning an unworn example, unlike its earlier counterpart.
Further evidence of the 1856-O double eagle's rarity is offered by a comment made by Doug Winter to the numismatic press. In the January 28, 2008 edition of Coin World, he was quoted as saying that a near-Mint representative of the issue, which he encountered while acting as a liaison between a dealer and a private collector, " ... was the first I have handled in a few years." That Winter, one of the most widely acknowledged authorities on (and one of the best-known dealers in) Southern gold, would go years without coming into contact with an example is perhaps the best contemporary illustration of its rarity.
Interestingly, the past couple of years have offered a number of opportunities for the collector of the higher New Orleans denominations in better grades; not only did the AU58 coin brokered by Winter change hands, but late October 2008 saw the Baltimore Collection specimen, a near-Mint representative, sell at Heritage's Dallas auction. Heritage's May 2009 Long Beach auction also saw the legendary SP63 representative change hands for over $1.4 million. All three of those pieces rank among the finest examples known; coins in less than About Uncirculated have traded only infrequently in years past.
The present Choice XF survivor offers a chance to remedy that situation. While lightly worn as expected, marks are few, and the surfaces certainly are not "very heavily abraded," the way Winter describes the issue at large. Strike is typical, with the usual patches of weakness on the portrait and the eagle's outermost feathers. The green-gold and yellow-gold surfaces show glimmers of their original reflective luster, most notably on the reverse. A small cluster of marks to the left of Liberty's nose are the only flaws warranting specific mention. Population: 2 in 45, 9 finer (6/09).
From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 268Z, PCGS# 8918)
Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)