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Splendid 1863 Double Eagle, MS61
Among the Rarest Type One P-Mint Twenties

1863 $20 MS61 PCGS. The production of gold coins during the Civil War (1861-65) was a futile effort for the Mint, particularly after the first year when the presumed outcome of the war--a quick Northern victory--looked increasingly doubtful. Most gold coins were hoarded or exported, and it would be close to two decades before gold would circulate freely again in the United States (the West is an exception to many generalities about gold, however). The mintage of the 1863 double eagle, during the height of the Civil War, was a smallish 142,790 coins, and today most examples seen in the marketplace are VF to AU. Bowers comments in his Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins that "Mint State examples are so rare that many old-timers have never seen one." There were few found on the shipwrecks of the era (none on the S.S. Brother Jonathan and 35 on the S.S. Republic), and even the Smithsonian Institution lacks an example of the issue. Only twice before have we offered higher-grade examples than the present piece (both MS62). This specimen displays splendid eye appeal, with honey-gold fields and deeper orange-gold high points, and the contact marks that exist are well within the confines of the grade. The bold strike is a plus. A small patch of orange on the reverse, over the E in TWENTY, will help pedigree this coin. Population: 10 in 61, 9 finer (3/09).
From The Oro Valley Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 269P, PCGS# 8939)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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