1882 Double Eagle, The Rarest Regular Issue Liberty Head Double Eagle1882 $20 AU58 NGC. The 1882 has the lowest mintage figure of any regular-issue Double Eagle (regular issues do not include the 1861 Philadelphia Paquet reverse). The 1882 is generally regarded as the rarest Liberty Head issue, in terms of the total number that exist. Probably somewhere between 15 and 20 pieces are known in all grades, making it a decidedly rarer date than such celebrated rarities as the 1854-O, 1856-O, and 1870-CC. Since it lacks the "sex appeal" of these famous branch mint issues, the 1882 does not currently command the respect (or price level) that these other issues have achieved.
The finest known circulation strike 1882 was recently offered in the October 2001 Dallas Bank Collection. It was cataloged as "Brilliant Uncirculated with claims to Choice status" and it is regarded as the only known example in Uncirculated. It brought $86,250, easily a record price for this issue. This NGC AU58 is one of just two that have been certified as such by this service (11/01). PCGS has graded a single AU58 and an MS60.
Fully struck, the fields are bright and prooflike, as always seen. However, there is no mistaking this piece for a mishandled proof as the date is higher in the exergual area and the scroll is attenuated near the eagle's head. A few field marks are noted, the most obvious ones are located in front of Liberty's chin and neck, and on the reverse there is an angling mark below the first A in AMERICA. (NGC ID# 26BE, PCGS# 8996)
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