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1857-S Spiked Shield Twenty, MS65
Vibrant Mint Luster, Recovered From
S.S. Central America

1857-S $20 MS65 PCGS. Variety 20A. Ex: S.S. Central America. SSCA 0362. Spiked Shield. Collectors are used to seeing the special PCGS "gold foil" labels made up specifically for the Central America shipwreck recovery coins, but not all of them are the often-seen (and almost uniformly beautiful) 1857-S double eagles. In fact, not all are double eagles. Also recovered from the Central America were three half eagles from the Dahlonega Mint that today bear the PCGS gold label. The owner of an 1852-D half eagle certified VF35 PCGS recently wrote (in a timely Hurricane Sandy-related thread on the PCGS Collectors Forum) that "it's noteworthy that most of the gold deposited at the Dahlonega Mint in 1852 came from gold miners returning from the California gold fields." A similar phenomenon was seen at the post-Gold Rush New Orleans Mint gold: Miners might trek from the fields of gold with their hard-earned gold dust to New Orleans, make a deposit, go back to California and then return, sometimes years later, for their coinage.
The present Gem 1857-S double eagle was certainly produced from California gold in abundance. Even though the San Francisco Mint's opening was only three years earlier in 1854, the facility struck nearly 1 million examples of the 1857-S twenties. This piece is fully struck with remarkably clean surfaces that show the usual bright, vibrant mint luster, more yellow-gold in centers with deeper reddish-gold margins. Population: 32 in 65 (1 in 65+), 3 finer (10/12).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 2696, PCGS# 8922)

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Auction Dates
Nov-Dec, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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