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1861-O Twenty, AU53
Rare and Interesting New Orleans Issue

1861-O $20 AU53 PCGS. A Civil War-era issue with an additional bit of charm and history, the 1861-O double eagles were minted by three different authorities; the Union, the State of Louisiana, and the Confederate States of America. Of the circulation strike mintage of 17,741 coins, 500 pieces were struck by the federal government from January 1 to January 26; 9,750 by Louisiana from January 26 to March 31; and 2,991 by the Confederate States of America from April 1 to April 30. Another issue of double eagles would not be struck again in New Orleans until 1879.

The issue is known for a poor strike, and surviving examples generally display numerous deep marks and other problems. Some have speculated that the small number of coins with an obverse die crack and strong date with strengthening of the lower portion of the 8 were struck by the Confederacy, as the percentage of coins exhibiting those details roughly matches the percentage of the issue struck by the CSA.

A lovely AU53 example, this coin displays deep yellow-gold color with splashes of brighter yellow also appearing along with areas of orange. The piece exhibits the numerous heavy marks associated with survivors from this issue, though none of the marks poses a significant distraction. This piece shows the die crack from star 2 to the chin of Liberty and the date is strong, leading to the possibility this piece was struck under the auspices of the Confederacy.

PCGS and NGC combined have awarded the AU53 grade to 26 examples, with only 46 finer (11/13).
From The Douglas Martin Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)

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Auction Dates
January, 2014
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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