Description

    Important Choice AU 1859-O Double Eagle Rarity

    1859-O $20 AU55 NGC. After the three stoppers in the Type One double eagle series (1861 Paquet, 1856-O, and 1854-O), this issue is the fifth rarest in the series, right behind the 1855-O double eagle. In 1859, the New Orleans Mint only produced 9,100 double eagles, and our best estimate suggests that less than 1% of the total still survive today. When David Akers studied double eagle auction appearances a quarter century ago, he felt that this date was not quite as rare as the 1860-O double eagle, and further commented: "The 1859-O is sufficiently rare that it ranks in the top 10% of the entire series according to rarity based on both average grade and frequency of appearance."
    We suspect that this example falls within the Condition Census for the date, and it was this grade range that is considered a requirement for the Census according to Winter and Crum. This duo related the rarity and quality of this issue: "The 1859-O is a very scarce issue in all grades. It is most often seen in the Very Fine to Extremely Fine grades and it is rare in About Uncirculated. Most pieces in this grade range are no better than About Uncirculated-53 and the 1859-O becomes very rare in About Uncirculated-55. There is currently only one Uncirculated coin known: a PCGS Mint State-60 in a prominent Midwestern collection."
    This example is rather indecisively struck with considerable peripheral weakness, especially among the stars on the obverse. The quality of the surfaces make up for the weakness of strike, as there are essentially no visible abrasions or distractions of any type. Bright green-gold color is evident with traces of rose overtones. Much of the original prooflike surface is still visible on each side. The obverse of this specimen has heavy clash marks, similar to lot 1731 in the October 1999 sale of the Harry Bass Collection. While Winter and Crum suggest that this is a characteristic of all genuine examples, the Harry Bass Collection contained at least two different examples without these clash marks. These clash marks are visible on Liberty's neck and next to the ear. They have the stars and glory of rays from the reverse as their source. The die state adds to the overall desirability of this highly appealing example.
    From The Wyoming Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269B, PCGS# 8927)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2006
    13th-14th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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