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1861-S $20 Paquet AU50 PCGS. At a casual glance, few observers would notice any difference between the Paquet and the norma...

2007 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #422

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 4, 2007
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orlando, FL
Description:
Rare 1861 Paquet Reverse Double Eagle AU50
1861-S $20 Paquet AU50 PCGS. At a casual glance, few observers would notice any difference between the Paquet and the normal reverse of an 1861-S double eagle. A side-by-side comparison reveals subtle differences, however, most notably in the taller, thinner lettering. The width of the eagle is also greater, and the reverse stars are placed lower within the rays.
The 1861-S Paquet reverse double eagle was not discovered until 1937. Walter Breen notes that: "Paul Wittlin turned up 25-30 in French and Swiss banks in the mid-1950s, mostly VF to EF with plenty of bagmarks." Apparently, these coins account for most of the known examples. The four pairs of dies that the Philadelphia Mint shipped to California, in November 1860, each contained an experimental tall letter reverse. Attributed to Assistant Engraver Anthony C. Paquet, these dies produced 19,250 1861-S double eagles that were destined to become the rarest issue of their denomination from the San Francisco Mint. Unknown in Mint State, AU examples are highly desirable. An undeniably attractive specimen, this coin displays reddish-golden surfaces, with a single red alloy spot noted near the eagle's left (facing) talon. A few trivial circulation marks are seen on each side, but these are minimal in terms of the coin's overall eye appeal. With ample remaining definition, this is a problem-free and immensely desirable representative of this prized rarity.
From The Oak Island Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 269L, PCGS# 8936)

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