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Historic 1861-O Double Eagle, AU531861-O $20 AU53 NGC. The 1861-O double eagles were struck under three different authorities, including the United States, the State of Louisiana, and the Confederacy. It is impossible to determine which entity produced any given coin, but the total production was 17,741 pieces. Nearly every surviving example is well circulated, although NGC and PCGS together have certified eight Mint State coins (8/09). A single AU58 example was recovered in the S.S. Republic treasure.
The second edition of Doug Winter's O-mint gold reference acknowledges the existence of a few Mint State examples, and comes to the conclusion that examples struck under the Confederacy are the few which show a bold date and an obverse die crack: "After looking through hundreds of auction catalogs ... I have determined that approximately one-fifth of the coins offered had a strong date and showed the obverse die crack. When one considers that the Confederacy is said to have struck approximately 17% of the original mintage figure of this issue (2,991 of the 17,741 struck this is almost exactly the percentage of the coins that exhibit the strong date with the crack. It is my belief that these are the coins produced by the Confederacy."
The typical 1861-O double eagle is poorly struck with considerable weakness, especially at the lower obverse, including the date and stars. Most examples have myriad abrasions and numerous deeper marks, including scratches and scrapes. The usual appearance is rich green-gold; most examples have below average eye appeal. These are all reasons to describe this example as atypical. While the strike is typical of most examples, with the bottom portion of the date showing considerable weakness, most of the stars are sharp, and the reverse is well-defined. The surfaces are remarkable, with few abrasions of any type, and clearly without scratches or scrapes. This example has vivid green-gold color with hints of lighter yellow, and considerable remaining luster. The aesthetic appeal is remarkable, making this an extremely desirable rarity.
From The Vegas Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)
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