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    1851-O Double Eagle, MS61
    High-Grade Early New Orleans Type

    1851-O $20 MS61 NGC. Variety 2. By 1851, two years after its authorization, the double eagle had become a staple of American commerce. The public began hoarding subsidiary silver coinage as the value of silver rose relative to gold, causing necessary small denomination coins to be driven out of circulation. This caused a curious situation where practical coinage was unseen, but cumbersome high-value gold coins were readily available. At the New Orleans Mint, for example, only 88,000 quarters and 402,000 half dollars were struck in 1851 -- both totals considerably down from past years -- while the facility more than doubled twenty dollar gold production to 315,000 coins.

    The 1851-O is the most accessible O-mint double eagle. Examples are usually found in VF condition through mid-AU grades. The issue's availability is altered dramatically in Mint State, where survivors are exceedingly rare. Probably no more than 20 Uncirculated pieces are extant. This satiny, light yellow-gold twenty is remarkably well-struck for the facility with crisp detail on the lower stars, date, curls, and throughout the reverse. Stars 6 through 8 are the only devices that show notable softness. Scattered marks correspond to the grade, but visual appeal is top-notch for the issue. Census: 7 in 61 (1 in 61+), 7 finer (6/17).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 268J, PCGS# 8905)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    2nd-6th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 296

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