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Incredible MS64+ 1864 Double Eagle
Single Finest Known

1864 $20 MS64+ NGC. Garrett and Guth, authors of the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, characterize this Civil War-era issue as "scarce in all grades." Writing more specifically about the date's rarity in Mint State, they note: "Until the discovery of the S.S. Republic hoard, the 1864 issue was extremely rare in full Mint State. There were a few coins at that level known, but most were marginally so, only qualifying in recent years."
"Marginal" is the last word that could be applied to this magnificent example, though. It is graded MS64+ by NGC, a no-questions Mint State piece that rises far above the minimum standards. In fact, it is the single finest coin in the date's combined certified population; its closest rivals are one NGC-graded MS64 coin and the lone finest PCGS piece, an MS63 (7/11). It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of this offering to collectors of Type One Liberty double eagles.
As for the coin itself, warm apricot-gold luster sweeps across each side. The color makes occasional variations into pale canary-gold and light peach, especially in parts of the fields. The strike is solid, particularly on the obverse stars, though Liberty's hair is not so razor-sharp as sometimes seen on later issues. A cloudy, coppery streak descends from Liberty's cheek into her falling hair, with a shorter echo below the I in LIBERTY on her coronet. Both sides are impressively preserved, and if not for a few wispy abrasions in the lower obverse fields, this coin would have every claim to a fully Gem designation.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 269S, PCGS# 8941)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,604

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