1861-O Double Eagle, AU55
1861-O $20 AU55 PCGS. The New Orleans Mint gold deposit
books (preserved at the Fort Worth, Texas branch of the National
Archives) record 24 deposits of gold dated January 2 through
January 28. Major depositors were Citizen's Bank (seven deposits,
6,661 ounces), Bank of Louisiana (three deposits, 3,588 ounces),
and Cramer & Co. (three deposits, 3,402 ounces). During that
period, 11 other depositor from eight individuals accounted for 261
ounces of gold. Among items from those depositors were 29,000
sovereigns, South American and Mexican "doubloons," jewelry, and
mixed bullion. Deposits totaled 13,912 ounces of gold.
The total mintage of 1861-O double eagles is recorded as 17,741 pieces, struck under three authorities, the Union, the State of Louisiana, and the Confederacy. That production indicates that additional unrecorded gold deposits occurred after January 28. In Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint: 1839-1909, Doug Winter suggests that 5,000 were struck by the United States government through January 26, 9,750 were struck by the State of Louisiana from January 26 to March 31, and 2,991 were struck by the Confederate government in April 1861.
The 1861-O double eagle is known with a full date, or with a weak date having the lower parts of each digit nearly or entirely absent. This example has a complete date, with the lower loops of the 8 and 6 weaker than the balance. There is no trace of the obverse die crack from the rim over the second star that appears on some examples. The dies and die states of the 1861-O twenties require continued study.
This Choice AU example has an above average strike with hints of greenish color on its somewhat reflective surfaces, showing strong luster. The surfaces have a few trivial marks, although this piece lacks the deep marks that Doug Winter says are typical. He writes: "There are a few relatively clean pieces known and these are extremely desirable." One of those is the highly appealing example offered here that will likely enjoy intense bidding activity. Population: 16 in 55, 6 finer (3/14).
From The Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]
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