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Description

Near-Mint 1861-O Double Eagle
Last Type One O-Mint Twenty

1861-O $20 AU58 NGC. While the 1861-O double eagle is collected as a Federal issue, the majority of the pieces were not struck under the auspices of the United States government. As Doug Winter writes in Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint: "The 1861-O was the last double eagle produced at the New Orleans Mint until 1879. It is a historically significant issue due to the fact that it was struck under three different authorities: the Union, the State of Louisiana and the Confederacy."
Winter then lists his breakdown of the mintage. Out of 17,741 pieces total, he suggests that 5,000 of the coins were struck between January 1 and January 26, while the Mint was under Union control; a further 9,750 pieces were struck by the seceded State of Louisiana from then until March 31; and the last 2,991 examples were struck under Confederate authority during the month of April.
While Winter speculates as to how the Confederate coins might be distinguished, there is no way to know if any single 1861-O double eagle is truly a "Federal" coin. Regardless of the authority used to strike it, though, the near-Mint example offered here is an important survivor. Bright lemon-gold surfaces are pale with partial reflectivity in the fields, mostly around the protected areas. The obverse shows typical softness at left and center, though the reverse offers better all-around definition. Just a touch of rub is noted on the lightly abraded portrait. Census: 9 in 58, 6 finer (5/11).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)

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Auction Dates
July, 2011
7th-10th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 13
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