1859-O $20 AU50 PCGS. The elusive nature of this coin begins with its minuscule mintage, only 9,100 pieces in pre-Civil War...
Desirable 1859-O Liberty Double Eagle, AU501859-O $20 AU50 PCGS. The elusive nature of this coin begins with its minuscule mintage, only 9,100 pieces in pre-Civil War New Orleans. Most of the issue that survives is well circulated, with the average example grading Very Fine or Extra Fine. Gold experts Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth write: "The population and auction data confirm that this coin is rare in any grade. The 1859-O double eagle is the third rarest issue from the New Orleans Mint, exceeded only the ultra-rare 1854-O and 1856-O issues. Most of the coins offered are Very Fine or Extremely Fine, and many of those display heavy bagmarks or damage." Unlike certain other dates that were once considered rare but now much more plentiful due to the recent discovery of extensive ship treasure, just two examples of this rarity were found among treasure on the S.S. Republic. The S.S. Brother Jonathan did not have any examples, and the S.S. Central America went down two years earlier in 1857.
The present example is refreshingly free of major surface distractions, although myriad tiny contact marks that appear under a strong loupe attest to a short stay in circulation. The only singular mark is a small scrape on Liberty's chin. Despite those marks, the surfaces show considerable prooflike luster remaining, easily visible in the protected areas around the periphery of each side. The coloration is golden-orange, with a tinge of greenish-gold near the date. Population: 8 in 50, 19 finer (4/07).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269B, PCGS# 8927)
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