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    Historic 1861-O Double Eagle, AU50

    1861-O $20 AU50 PCGS. The year 1861 marks several signal events in American history, many of them reflected in the interesting numismatic developments that also occurred during the year. The election in November 1860 of Abraham Lincoln as president was followed in December by the secession of South Carolina; within two months six other states, including Louisiana, would follow. On February 9, 1861, the Confederate States of America was formed, with Jefferson Davis as president. In March Lincoln was sworn in as president, and in April the Civil War would commence with the shelling of Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
    New Orleans, the "Queen of the Delta," was the largest city in the South at the start of the Civil War. Its position at the mouth of the Mississippi River made it an early, strategic target for Union forces. Louisiana voted to secede from the Union on January 22, 1861, and in March accepted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Within a three-month period from January to March, the New Orleans Mint made coinage successively for the Union, the State of Louisiana, and the Confederacy.
    The 1861-O double eagle was produced in the amount of 17,741 coins, but there are only estimates as to how many were struck under each authority. In any case, the issue is a rare one today, with Garrett and Guth estimating that only 200 survive in all grades, most of them VF to XF. The present AU piece shows a weak date, as often seen on the issue, and the fields appear lapped. Many small- to medium-sized abrasions pepper each side, the most obvious a scratch on the lower obverse near the denticles to the right of the final 1. A light streak of grease struck into planchet in the upper obverse field at first looks like a contact mark. The strike is a bit soft in the center of each side, with orange-gold color dominant. Population: 13 in 50, 33 finer (2/12).
    Accompanied by an ICG insert as an AU53.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 993

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