1871 $20 MS63 PCGS....
Remarkable MS63 1871 Twenty Dollar1871 $20 MS63 PCGS. Gold coins did not circulate on the East Coast, Midwest, or South in 1871. This was because gold traded at a premium to Federal paper money, which could not be redeemed for specie. This had been the case since greenbacks were first introduced early in the Civil War, and it was not until 1878 that gold and paper money finally achieved parity. In the West, though, Federal paper money was often refused, and large payments were made in gold coin. This explains the high mintages of San Francisco double eagles relative to their Philadelphia Mint counterparts.
In 1871, gold mintages were even lower than usual. Production of gold dollars, quarter eagles, three dollar pieces, half eagles, and eagles ranged between 1,300 and 3,900 pieces. The 1871 Philadelphia double eagle mintage was only moderately higher at 80,120 pieces, likely struck for a trader to pay for imports, or simply to prevent the 30 proofs from becoming instant, prized rarities.
Despite the small mintage, there was no contemporary numismatic demand for double eagles, although gold dollars and three dollars did receive modest collector interest at the time. Most surviving 1871 twenties are in XF an AU grades. Examples with unbroken cartwheel luster and clean surfaces are great rarities. Yet here is such a coin, with flashy orange-gold fields and surprisingly minimal marks. Heritage offered the other PCGS MS63 example as lot 3719 in our January 2007 FUN Signature, and it brought $54,625. We believe the present piece is even nicer, and expect bidding to surpass the previous auction record for the grade. Encapsulated in an old green label holder. Population: 2 in 63, 1 finer (6/10).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 26AA, PCGS# 8960)
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