Welcome Sign-In | Join Now
Sold for Sign-in or Join (free & quick) includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


Radiant Choice AU 1861-O Double Eagle

1861-O $20 AU55 NGC. Few issues hold as much historical allure as the famous 1861-O double eagle. In his Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, Q. David Bowers (2004) writes about the issue's place in numismatics: "The series of Type [One] double eagles 1849-1866 is laden with 'story coins,' of which the 1861-O is one. Minted during the Civil War, this particular issue almost got caught up in the battle lines."
Doug Winter (2006), in his Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, notes mintage figures for three different entities that oversaw the production of double eagles at New Orleans that year. He states that of the mintage of 17,741 pieces, 5,000 of them were coined under the auspices of the Union. The majority of examples, 9,750, were minted by an independent Louisiana between January and March 1861, and 2,991 representatives were struck by the Confederacy in April of the same year. Much effort has been put into determining which 1861-O double eagles were struck by the Confederacy, though any conclusions are necessarily speculative.
Bowers has observed that on "nearly all known specimens the bottoms of the numerals 861 are light." Such is the case with the current coin, and the vast majority of survivors of this storied issue. From the original mintage of 1861-O double eagles, relatively few have survived. Both Bowers and Winter, in their respective references, estimate that approximately 140 examples are extant, with the vast majority grading EF or lower. This includes the three different types known for the issue: strong date, weak date and manually strengthened date. Comparing percentages of known survivors of each type to documented mintage figures, it is possible that examples with weak dates could have been produced by the State of Louisiana and/or the Federal government.
The attractive piece offered here has pleasing detail for this poorly produced issue, though a measure of general softness is noted on the portrait. Light wear is present at the highpoints, but the yellow-gold surfaces retain much of their original luster and each side shows a trace of reflectivity. The overall appearance is clean, though a number of abrasions appear near the date, and a touch of alloy is noted between the obverse denticles. In sum, a desirable exemplar of this fascinating issue. Census: 13 in 55, 15 finer (12/07).
From The Waxhaw Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)

View all of [The Waxhaw Collection ]

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 1,147

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Only 5 days left to consign to the 2015 September 16 - 21 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

Learn about consigning with us

What I most appreciated was how thorough you were when we initially met, how you were conservative in your estimates, not trying to get me to consign by giving false expectations, and then for delivering above and beyond on your commitment to me of a wonderful marketing campaign and a first rate catalog and photos, all of which resulted in a final total price realized that was nicely higher than what you had told me to expect.
Adam Mervis,
Decatur, IL
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN
2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN
REALIZED $8,332,129
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $6,503,481
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $10,592,191

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved