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1861-S Paquet Reverse Twenty, XF45 Details

1861-S $20 Paquet--Rim Damaged, Cleaned--XF45 ANACS. Anthony Paquet's modified reverse was only used on a limited number of San Francisco twenties. The reverse rim was lowered, which made that side more susceptible to abrasions, and the letters on that side were modified slightly and made taller. Paquet's modifications certainly make one wonder: What was he thinking? Why would a mint engraver lower the rim on a coin that was already prone to abrasions because of its size and soft metallic composition? Further, why would the Mint Director approve such a modification? In any case, the modification was short-lived.
The reverse was recognized by the collecting community as early as 1865, when one of the two known Philadelphia coins sold in a W.E. Woodward sale for $37. Then collectors seem to have collectively forgotten about the Paquet reverse until the 1930s, when several turned up in Europe. Today these pieces are considered an integral part of the double eagle series. They are also condition rarities. AU examples are seldom seen, and to date (7/07) no Uncirculated coins have been certified by the two major services.
Since most Paquet twenties entered circulation, most are extensively worn and many are found with various forms of damage to the surfaces. This piece was apparently owned by a collector who, for many years, was under the mistaken impression that "brighter is better" and vigorously cleaned the surfaces. The Rim Damaged disclaimer seems to refer to a couple of dings on the obverse, one bump at 3 o'clock and another smaller nick close to 6 o'clock. Otherwise, there are no troubling abrasions on the faces and only slight evidence of wear is visible.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269L, PCGS# 8936)

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Auction Dates
August, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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