1861-O Twenty, Sharp MS60
1861-O $20 MS60 NGC. If a popularity contest was held for
New Orleans double eagles, the 1861-O twenty would rank near the
top. It was identified by Doug Winter in a recent article as the
New Orleans twenty that increased in value the most over the past
Rare and Lustrous New Orleans Gold
The 1861-O has always held special appeal based on its Civil War connections and its scarcity in Uncirculated grades. Today, not only is the 1861-O double eagle rare in an absolute sense with 200 pieces or so surviving in all grades, it is especially rare in Mint State with just a half dozen examples known in MS60 to MS62 with none finer. Thus, the MS60 specimen offered here ranks among the finest known in both condition and eye appeal.
Abundant mint luster enhances the apricot-gold color that radiates from both sides. A dappled appearance of reddish tone confirms the natural state of the surfaces, as does swirling luster as the coin is rotated under light. Abrasions are present but in small number and none are overly distracting. The strike is as sharp as desired for a New Orleans twenty, with only slight weakness on the highest points of Liberty's curls and the scrollwork around the eagle.
The date shows weakness at the bottom, which is diagnostic of most seen and perhaps indicative of this coin being struck by the Union or the State of Louisiana. One theory suggests a new obverse die was used for the Confederate strikings, where the date was strengthened.
For those seeking one of the finest 1861-O double eagles, this coin is an excellent candidate. Double eagle enthusiasts and other specialists will value its desirability as a Type One rarity in Mint State, its aesthetic appeal, and its status as the only New Orleans double eagle from a Civil War year. Census: 3 in 60, 1 finer (11/13).
From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 269J, PCGS# 8934)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
View all of [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]
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