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    Description

    1856-S Type Two Gold Dollar, MS64
    The Finest Doubled Mintmark, FS-501
    From the David Akers Collection

    1856-S/S G$1 FS-501 MS64 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Duckor/Akers. This sharply struck near-Gem is an amazing Type Two gold dollar with brilliant yellow luster and subtle blue overtones, all residing on cameolike mirrored surfaces. A few trivial marks on each side are sufficient to prevent a finer grade assessment.

    Variety and Die State: FS-501. Doubled Mintmark, although not identified as such on the PCGS holder. A faint die crack is evident from the border through the E of AMERICA to the headdress and eventually to the headband right of the Y in LIBERTY. The crack continues through the head to the throat, finally reaching the border at the U in UNITED.

    Population (6/15): This MS64 example is tied with two other submissions at PCGS for the finest 1856-S gold dollar. NGC reports three 1856-S Type Two gold dollars in MS64 and none finer.

    Commentary: A new design was created early in 1856, lowering the relief of the Indian Head obverse. As 1856 Type Two dies had already been sent to San Francisco at the end of 1855, coinage was produced at that mint with the older design. Meanwhile, the Type Three design was implemented at Philadelphia early in the year. The result was the only Type Two coinage in San Francisco.

    According to the PCGS Population Report, the two Philadelphia Mint Type Two gold dollar issues are plentiful in Mint State. The branch mint issues are not. In Mint State, PCGS has certified four 1855-C gold dollars, six 1855-D, 24 1856-S, and 39 of the 1855-O. The finest 1855-C grades MS61, and each of the other three issues grade no finer than MS64. The Duckor Collection includes two of the four branch mint Type Two gold dollars.

    Douglas Winter Commentary: There are no fewer than four one-year-only issues in the short-lived Type Two gold dollar series, and the 1856-S is interesting in that it is the only one dated 1856. It is common in circulated grades and seen from time to time in the lowest Uncirculated grades, but it becomes rare in properly graded MS63, and it is very rare in MS64. PCGS has graded just three at this level with none finer. CAC has approved four in this grade, but the Duckor example is the only one of these in a PCGS holder.

    This coin is clearly in the Condition Census for the issue. It is an early die state with a lighter obverse crack than usual and lovely prooflike surfaces overlaid with rich natural orange-gold color. The strike is exceptional, as is the quality of the planchet.

    The S/S mintmark variety seen on 1856-S/S gold dollars is misunderstood. This visually impressive variety wasn't recorded until the late 1950s, but it appears to be far more common than the Normal S. It is accorded a distinctive status by NGC, but its lower population figures are misleading, as it has not been recognized for more than a few years. Nearly every high-grade 1856-S gold dollar show the S/S repunching.

    The current auction record for this date was set by an MS64 NGC-CAC coin, from the Heritage February 2013 sale, lot 3910 at $52,875. The Duckor coin is clearly finer (I used to own the MS64 NGC) and deserves to be included in a world-class set of gold dollars or San Francisco gold coins.

    Provenance: David Akers; Donald Kutz; Heritage. Possibly earlier from Auction '81, although a positive match to the plate in the catalog has eluded us.
    From The Duckor Family Collection of Gold Dollars. (NGC ID# 25C8, Variety PCGS# 145703, Base PCGS# 7536)

    Weight: 1.67 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

    View all of [The Duckor Family Collection of Gold Dollars ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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