Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended and our offices are closed, except for scheduled appointments. See details including all options for bidding remotely.


    1861 Liberty Double Eagle, MS63
    First Defenders Medal Obverse Impression

    1861 Liberty Double Eagle -- First Defenders Medal Obverse Impression -- MS63 NGC. Fort Sumter was fired upon for the first time on April 12, 1861. President Lincoln issued a proclamation on April 15, requesting a militia to fight the newly formed Confederate States of America. The first volunteer force of 475 men arrived at Washington, D.C. on April 18. They were the Philadelphia First Defenders, consisting of units from Pottsville, Reading, Lewiston, and Allentown. In 1891, the Pennsylvania Legislature ordered medals for the First Defenders, one for each of the men or his designated heir. The medals were struck by the Philadelphia Mint during the tenure of Superintendent Oliver Bosbyshell, one of the First Defenders. The present lot is an 1861 Liberty twenty bearing a sharp uniface impression from the obverse die for the Philadelphia First Defenders medal of honor. The impression is well-centered between the stars and date, and gives the coin a somewhat concave appearance. The overstruck portrait of Liberty is faint but unmistakable. The double eagle reverse is slightly flattened, reminiscent of the Confederate half dollar Scott restrikes on Federal 1861 halves. Presumably unique, and recently the subject of a September 24, 2018 Coin World article.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 747

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 1 day left to consign to the 2020 July 9 - 13 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I am confident that I made the right decision to work with you and Heritage. And so I want to express my gratitude for all of your help.
    Jim M. ,
    Robbinsdale, MN
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search