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Lot
4286

1879-O $20 AU53 PCGS. Variety 1....

2012 March 8-11 US Coin Signature Auction - New York #1168

 
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Auction Ended On: Mar 9, 2012
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Description:
1879-O Liberty Double Eagle, AU53
Only Type Three New Orleans Twenty
Only 12 Coins Finer at PCGS
1879-O $20 AU53 PCGS. Variety 1. There was a long hiatus of coining operations at the New Orleans Mint, after its seizure by the Confederacy in 1861. However, the facility was reopened in 1879 because the Bureau of the Mint needed the extra capacity to satisfy the provisions of the Bland-Allison Act. Fortunately for present-day collectors, a small mintage of Liberty eagles and double eagles was produced in 1879, along with nearly 3 million silver dollars. The meager mintage of 2,325 double eagles would prove to be the last twenty dollar gold pieces produced at the famous Southern mint, and the only issue that employed the Type Three design.
The 1879-O double eagles circulated widely in the 19th century, and few examples were preserved by collectors. Doug Winter estimates the surviving population at 75-85 specimens in all grades, with most survivors seen in the VF-XF range. The 1879-O is the fourth-rarest New Orleans double eagle, trailing such fabulous rarities as the 1854-O and 1856-O, and the only slightly more available 1855-O. The last time Heritage was privileged to offer an example of the 1879-O in AU53 condition was in June 2004, and the PCGS population statistics for AU53 or finer grades are the same today as they were at that time. Population: 5 in 53, 12 finer (1/12).
The coin offered here is a sharply detailed AU53 specimen, with fine definition on the strands of Liberty's hair. The surfaces retain almost all of the original mint luster, with smooth orange-gold patina that shows a few highlights of rose and lilac. Only minor contact marks are apparent, the worst being some insignificant roller marks on Liberty's cheek. This coin should find a home in a fine collection or Registry Set.
Ex: Horseshoe Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/2010), lot 1854.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26B8, PCGS# 8990)

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