Choice XF 1856-O Twenty
1856-O $20 XF45 PCGS. CAC. Variety 1. Aside from the
uncollectible pattern 1849 twenty, three mintmarked issues stand
alone among Liberty double eagles as the titans of the series. The
dominant force among Type Two pieces is the 1870-CC, the first
double eagle struck by Carson City, a perennial favorite among Old
West gold collectors as well. The other two prominent issues are a
pair of antebellum New Orleans dates, the 1854-O and 1856-O. The
two are oft-compared, and the occasional numismatic rivalry has
been played up in various numismatic publications.
Coveted New Orleans Mint Rarity
To claim that the two issues are rare is an understatement. Focusing on the 1856-O, just 12 certification events are present in the NGC Census Report and a mere 13 pieces are identified in the PCGS Population Report; almost assuredly, there is some overlap between the two sources of certified data, as well as within them due to resubmissions. Add in a handful of impaired examples, and an estimate of 20 to 30 survivors, as published by Doug Winter in his Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, appears accurate. This is a slightly smaller pool of available pieces than is known for the 1854-O, which holds true through most grades, though in Mint State, the 1856-O actually offers a prospect for owning an unworn example, unlike its earlier counterpart.
Further evidence of the 1856-O double eagle's rarity is offered by a comment made by Doug Winter to the numismatic press. In the January 28, 2008, edition of Coin World, he was quoted as saying that a near-Mint representative of the issue, which he encountered while acting as a liaison between a dealer and a private collector, " ... was the first I have handled in a few years." That Winter, one of the most widely acknowledged authorities on (and one of the best-known dealers in) Southern gold, would go years without coming into contact with an example is perhaps the best contemporary illustration of its rarity.
Interestingly, the past couple of years have offered a number of opportunities for the collector of the higher New Orleans denominations in better grades; not only did the AU58 coin brokered by Winter change hands, but late October 2008 saw the Baltimore Collection specimen, a near-Mint representative, sell at Heritage's Dallas auction. Heritage's May 2009 Long Beach auction also saw the legendary SP63 representative change hands for over $1.4 million. All three of those pieces rank among the finest examples known; coins in less than About Uncirculated have traded only infrequently in years past.
The present Choice XF survivor offers a chance to remedy that situation. While lightly worn as expected, marks are few, and the surfaces certainly are not "very heavily abraded," the way Winter describes the issue at large. Strike is typical, with the usual patches of weakness on the portrait and the eagle's outermost feathers. The green-gold and yellow-gold surfaces show glimmers of their original reflective luster, most notably on the reverse. A small cluster of marks to the left of Liberty's nose are the only flaws warranting specific mention. Population: 2 in 45, 10 finer (9/11).
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 4131; The Bay State Collection, Part Two (Heritage, 7/2009), lot 1315.
From The Rubic Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 268Z, PCGS# 8918)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
View all of [From The Rubic Collection ]
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)
Sales Tax information | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity | Terms and Conditions
Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments
Glossary of Terms
Buyer's Premium per Lot:
15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.
- Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
- Bid online
- Free Collector newsletter
- Want List with instant e-mail notifications
- Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
- Cash Advances
- More Bidders
- Trusted Experts
- Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
Learn about consigning with us
I would like to take this opportunity to express dea's appreciation for the outstanding work and expertise your office provided in handling this sale.View More Testimonials
[ Entire Letter » ]
HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)