1859-O $20 AU55 NGC....
Lustrous Near-Mint 1859-O Double Eagle1859-O $20 AU55 NGC. With a mintage of just 9,100 coins, it is immediately apparent that this is one of the rarities in the double eagle series. In fact, Doug Winter and Adam Crum noted that this is the fourth rarest of all New Orleans Mint double eagles, behind only the 1854-O, '55-O, and '56-O issues. It is also slightly rarer than the 1860-O issue. The author's of An Insider's Guide to Collecting Type I Double Eagles noted: "The 1859-O is a very scarce issue in all grades. It is most often seen in the Very Fine to Extremely Fine grades and it is rare in About Uncirculated. Most pieces in this grade range are no better than About Uncirculated-53 and the 1859-O becomes very rare in About Uncirculated-55. There is currently only one Uncirculated coin known: a PCGS Mint State-60 in a prominent Midwestern collection."
As with all Liberty double eagles, regardless of date, it is imperative for the collector to seek examples with good to excellent eye appeal. Examples such as the present coin. Although not sharply struck (there is no such thing as a fully struck '59-O double eagle), this example has excellent central details. A few of the stars on the obverse are flat, and there is slight weakness in the upper hair strands at the top of Liberty's head. The surfaces have light greenish-yellow gold, and show evidence of light cleaning as almost always on these coins. The surfaces also exhibit many tiny abrasions, yet no serious marks of any kind. This is one of the finest existing '59-O double eagles with an above average appearance for this issue. It is easily one of the ten finest known examples of the date.
This example has a heavily impressed date with bold digits, and a weaker mintmark with the bottom curve extremely faint, almost missing. Clash marks are visible near Liberty's ear, and other clash marks are noted around the curls on Liberty's neck. These are present on all known examples of this issue, and are an excellent hallmark for authenticity. There is a heavy die crack on the reverse, from the wing through the left side of E in UNITED, to the border. This is an extremely important opportunity for the collector of high-grade or Condition Census Liberty Double Eagles. Population: 11 in 55, 4 finer (2/05).(#8927) (Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269B, PCGS# 8927)
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