1891 Double Eagle, A Near-Mint Example of This Important Rarity1891 $20 AU58 NGC. The 1891 is generally overlooked when numismatists discuss the truly rare issues in the Liberty Head Double Eagle series, yet only 45 to 55 pieces are known from an original mintage of 1,390 circulation strikes. When available, the typical 1891 is prooflike and extensively abraded with poor eye appeal. In our experience, it is very difficult to locate an 1891 that grades AU53-55 and we believe this date to be a major rarity in Uncirculated condition.
The presently offered piece is really quite attractive. Like the major rarities from the 1880s, the 1891 tends to display brightly reflective prooflike fields and is usually found with heavy abrasions. This piece only has one prominent mark, that one located across the chin of Liberty.
An incredible 1891, discovered by Jim Halperin and sold to Jeff Browning in the late 1970s by New England Rare Coin Galleries via Julian Leidman, was cataloged as "Gem Brilliant Uncirculated" and realized $80,500 in the Dallas Bank Collection Sale. Prior to that, the best example to be sold in recent memory was the PCGS AU58 Bass IV coin that brought $24,150. We sold an NGC AU55 in the 2001 February Long Beach Auction for $14,950. (NGC ID# 26C2, PCGS# 9016)
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