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1879-O $20 AU58 NGC....

2008 December Houston, TX Signature Coin Auction #1118

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Auction Ended On: Dec 5, 2008
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, TX 77010
Near-Mint 1879-O Twenty
One of the Finest Examples Known
1879-O $20 AU58 NGC. The importance of the 1879-O twenty within the Type Three series is discussed elsewhere in this catalog. Its minuscule mintage of 2,325 pieces and status as the only New Orleans Type Three twenty are well known. What sets this particular coin apart is its unusually high grade and pleasing overall surfaces.
As Doug Winter states when writing about this issue:

"Virtually every known example has numerous deep abrasions. In addition, I have seen many 1879-O double eagles that had mint-made spots or areas of discoloration in the planchet. A good percentage of the surviving population has been cleaned and I have also seen many that had scratches on the surfaces. This is an extremely hard coin to find with choice surfaces and only a handful are known as such."

This coin is certainly atypical for an 1879-O as described above. The surfaces show a number of small abrasions scattered over each side, but certainly do not have the "numerous deep abrasions" Doug describes and we have seen on the few '79-O twenties we have handled over the years. The well preserved surfaces are also unusual for examples we have seen in the past. Of the 40 auction appearances in Heritage sales over the last 15 years, only 11 have graded finer than the present coin--the finest an MS63 and the finest coin certified. The surfaces are bright yellow-gold and show much of the prooflikeness often seen on this issue. Fully struck throughout, including the reverse lettering which is often softly impressed.
(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26B8, PCGS# 8990)

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