There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.

1864 $20 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC....

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,470 page views
Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


1864 Double Eagle, PR65 Ultra Cameo
An Impossibly Beautiful Gem Example
1864 $20 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. This Liberty Head double eagle proof from 1864 is an old friend come to visit once again, last offered as part of a complete six-piece 1864 gold proof set.
The present Gem Ultra Cameo double eagle is certified by NGC with the Star lagniappe for exceptional eye appeal. The twenty dollar gold denomination is the largest in the classic era of U.S. numismatics. Proof examples of the denomination are among the most cherished and precious items in the whole gamut of coin collecting.
The Liberty Head double eagles were produced over a long span of time from 1850 (for regular issues) through 1907. At that time the design ceded to the Saint-Gaudens double eagles, which ran through 1933, although the last "regular-issue" proofs were produced in 1915 (Garrett and Guth note a "special striking" from 1921). However, the Saint-Gaudens double eagles were produced in a number of individual finishes that are collectively grouped under the usual headings of "matte" or "sandblast" finish and "Roman" or "satin" finish. Although the Saint-Gaudens proof double eagles are important, rare coins that offer considerable aesthetic beauty, many collectors prefer the older Liberty Head proof coins.
The Liberty Head proof coins themselves, however, saw a change along with the other gold denominations in 1902, in which the stark field-to-device contrast characteristic of earlier issues was changed to a low-contrast (sometimes no-contrast) method of proof production that Breen memorably called "semibrilliant." Thus it is that for many collectors, the most desirable U.S. proof gold coins are Liberty Head double eagles dated before 1902.
The Liberty Head double eagles are in generally separate subclasses, depending on the decades in which they they were issued. The earliest Liberty twenties in proof for which examples are known, those of the 1858-1861 period, are incredibly rare, with only a handful of pieces known for each year, including those in museum collections. The 1862 Liberty Head is the first Type One issue likely to be encountered in proof format, although perhaps only a dozen survive today, and similarly for the 1863.
For the 1864 proof issue, Garrett and Guth write in their Gold Encyclopedia:

"Despite the fact that only 12 to 15 examples of the Proof 1864 double eagle are known, it is probably the most available year for the type in the Proof format. Two examples are in the museum collection of the Smithsonian, and another resides in the American Numismatic Society. Most of the mintage was probably melted as unsold, not surprising considering the ravages of the Civil War at the time. The population reports are misleading due to resubmissions. Examples of any Type 1 double eagle must be considered a major rarity."

In keeping with the enormous rarity of the issue overall, recent offerings of the 1864 double eagle at Heritage and elsewhere have set healthy prices. A PR64 Cameo NGC example in our FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3749, brought $184,000. A PR64 Cameo PCGS example brought $161,000 in a Goldbergs auction (Ira & Larry Goldberg, 9/2008), lot 1288. This Ultra Cameo Gem proof last garnered $345,000 in our Pittsburgh Signature.
Heritage previously had had the privilege of offering only a single Gem Ultra Cameo proof example, the incredible NGC-certified piece in the Henry Miller Collection/FUN Platinum Night (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5278. That phenomenal example, which is in the same grade as the present coin save for this piece's NGC Star, brought $359,375.
As might be expected from the Gem Ultra Cameo NGC grade with the Star designation, the present piece is a stunning, almost impossibly beautiful example of the issue. If there were a category beyond Ultra Cameo to describe proof contrast, this specimen might well qualify. The decisively detailed devices are thickly frosted from the portrait to the stars, from the eagle to the legends. The profoundly mirrored fields flash back and forth between "black and yellow," but even when the fields shine brightest, the coin retains its essential contrast. The overall surface quality is beyond attractive, and well-deserving of a Gem designation. The holder, however, shows a number of small scuffs and scratches that may appear in pictures. They in no way affect the quality of the coin itself, which has a far cleaner appearance and is incredibly, immediately appealing. Census: 1 in 65 Ultra Cameo, 1 finer (7/12).
Ex: Pittsburgh Signature (Heritage, 10/2011), lot 5189, which realized $345,000.(Registry values: P7) (PCGS# 99076)

View large image(s) of this item

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Guides and Pricing Information:

Previous Prices from Heritage Auctions
or Join (free & quick)
Price Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Population Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Find Auction Prices for Comparable Items:

Sign-in or Join (free & quick) to see the full image

Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
sold in the last year
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
Only 27 days left to consign to the 2015 September 16 - 21 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!
Learn About Consigning With Us
Oh behalf of our client, Caroline Kennedy, I wish to thank you for all of your assistance... You and your gallery are to be commended for your professionalism and integrity...
[Entire Letter]
Kevin T. Baine, Esq., Williams & Connoly, LLP,
Washington, D.C. receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:
2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $16,999,788
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $6,505,243
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $10,592,191
You could win!
Take the Survey