1861-O $20 AU53 PCGS....
Rare 1861-O Double Eagle, AU531861-O $20 AU53 PCGS. The 1861-O was the last double eagle issue from the New Orleans Mint until 1879. Only 17,741 pieces were produced, by three different governments. In January, Union authorities struck 5,000 examples. An additional 9,750 coins were minted by the State of Louisiana, from late January through March 31. During the month of April a final 2,991 double eagles were produced, by the Confederate States of America.
In 2006, Doug Winter estimated the total number of extant examples in all grades at 135-165 pieces. While 204 pieces have been encapsulated by NGC and PCGS, it is virtually certain that some unknown quantity of those coins have been resubmitted by their owners, in hopes of receiving a finer grade assessment.
The current offering is an attractive AU survivor. Rather deep lime-gold toning adorns each side, along with strong accents of peach. With the exception of the bottoms of the digits 186 in the date, every feature is sharply struck. (Many of the surviving examples of this issue exhibit noticeable weakness on the date. In a vain effort to partially correct this defect, an employee at the New Orleans Mint apparently attempted to re-engrave the lower edge of the 8. The raised die lines from this work are faintly evident on the present example.)
The highpoints of this coin only show slight wear. Both sides are moderately abraded, and a somewhat heavy milling mark is noted on Liberty's chin. Minor rim bruises are likewise evident on each side.
Despite the aforementioned defects, this piece retains a great deal of overall visual appeal, and represents a rare opportunity for the Southern gold collector.
(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)
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