Description

    1861-O Double Eagle, AU53
    Rare Civil War Issue in High Grade
    Examples Struck by Three Different Governments

    1861-O $20 AU53 PCGS. The 1861-O Liberty double eagle is one of the great "story" coins of the Civil War era. The 17,741 coins struck that year were minted under the authority of three different governments:

    1. The 5,000 pieces struck between January 1 and January 26, under the auspices of the U.S. federal government.

    2. The 9,750 examples coined from January 26 to March 31, by authority of the State of Louisiana.

    3. The 2,991 specimens minted from April 1 to April 30, by the Confederate States of America.


    An extensive study of die states has been conducted by students of the series, but no universally accepted means of establishing which coins were struck by the different governments has ever been discovered, despite several interesting theories from Q. David Bowers, Doug Winter, and others.
    Three pairs of double eagle dies were shipped from the Philadelphia Mint to New Orleans in December of 1860. The three reverse dies employed the innovative Paquet design, but the Philadelphia Mint found this design unsuitable, and instructions were telegraphed to the New Orleans facility to avoid using these dies. Accordingly the entire coinage was accomplished using one of the new obverse dies from Philadelphia and a leftover reverse from the previous year.
    The coins circulated extensively, like most issues from the New Orleans Mint, and high-grade examples are seldom encountered today. Doug Winter estimates a surviving population of just 135-165 coins in all grades, with most examples seen in the VF-XF range.
    The present coin is a rare lightly circulated specimen, with vivid greenish-gold surfaces that show traces of prooflike reflectivity in sheltered areas. The design elements display better-than-average detail for this issue, which is almost always seen with a soft strike. This coin has the weak date seen on about 75 percent of examples in today's market. While a few O-mint double eagles can claim greater rarity than the 1861-O, no issue can match its historic interest. The astute Southern gold specialist will not let this coin get away. Population: 11 in 53, 22 finer (3/12).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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