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    1850-O Double Eagle, MS61+
    Landmark New Orleans Issue
    Second-Finest Certified

    1850-O $20 MS61+ NGC. Variety 2. The 1850-O double eagle represents a culmination of sorts for the New Orleans Mint's early years, and ushers the Southern Mint into an interesting and sometimes turbulent pre-Civil War era. A substantial mintage of 141,000 twenty dollar gold pieces circulated heavily along the Mississippi River trade routes and throughout the South.

    The inaugural year issue also initiates one of today's great numismatic challenges -- a run of New Orleans double eagles that includes the renown 1854-O, 1856-O, plus several other absolute and conditional rarities. Among them is the 1850-O, which is surprisingly elusive in Mint State.

    Only in recent years has the rarity of Uncirculated 1850-O twenties been acknowledged by collectors. The issue is not rare in circulated grades, and many collections have an XF to AU example. Doug Winter notes:

    "This is an extremely hard date to find with good eye appeal. Many are not well struck, and most have heavily abraded surfaces. The small numbers which do have good eye appeal can command very strong premiums when they trade among knowledgeable specialists."

    The present coin is a high-end Mint State example struck from a scarce die marriage. The mintmark sits well-removed from the eagle's tailfeathers, while a few tiny, diagnostic die lumps and the date position confirm its Variety 2 obverse.

    Pleasing greenish-gold color glows from partially reflective surfaces. Well-frosted devices provide above-average contrast against the surrounding fields, and the strike is sharp except for slight rounding of a few high-point curls and minor weakness at stars 1 and 2. Light abrasions visit the open fields, with a small depression near star 8. Eye appeal remains exceptionally strong for an 1850-O.

    By virtue of its NGC Plus designation, this is the second-finest 1850-O certified by NGC and PCGS combined. The finest is an MS62 NGC example (the former Dallas Bank coin) that sold privately for over $100,000 in 2007. New Orleans gold specialists working on the challenging O-mint subset of double eagles -- or Liberty Head gold collectors in general -- will not want to pass on this remarkable first-year twenty, struck at the famous old Southern Mint. Census: 4 in 61 (1 in 61+), 1 finer (6/20).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 268G, PCGS# 8903)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 491

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