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    Description

    1861-O Twenty, VF35
    Rare and Interesting New Orleans Issue

    1861-O $20 VF35 PCGS. The 1861-O is a prime objective of collectors partly because of its rarity and also for its historical significance. It is rare -- just 17,741 were struck, the final double eagles produced at the New Orleans Mint prior to 1879. Three governing authorities struck double eagles in New Orleans in 1861. In January, Union authorities struck 5,000 examples. These were followed by an additional 9,750 pieces struck by the State of Louisiana from late January through May, and a further 2,991 coins that the Confederate States of America produced after June 1. The combined mintage of the 1861-O double eagle, therefore, is 17,741 pieces. PCGS projects the number of surviving 1861-O double eagles as approximately 256 specimens.

    It doesn't seem possible to know with certainty which authority struck which double eagles (although collectors and researchers would love to know). For years experts believed the dies would have worn to the point where the date started to disappear, meaning those coins with the weakest dates were most likely the Confederate strikings. Doug Winter, with Dr. Joseph Gaines, proposed a theory where a new obverse die may have been used for the Confederate coins based on the number of strong dates with a die crack that exist today as a percentage of known examples. Other specialists such as David Akers believe there may be no way to know, with certainty, which mint authority made which coins.

    The present coin offered has a weak date. It shows moderate wear in line with the assigned VF35 grade. The surfaces are above-average with apricot-gold toning and touches of medium green-gold. There are no distracting problems or major marks for the amount of circulation this coin received. It is attractive for the grade -- a rare and desirable 1861-O double eagle sure to excite many collectors.
    From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N1793) (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 ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2013
    5th-8th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,058

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    We also followed the bidding online yesterday here in Salt Lake for the other 3 coins - great fun. Prices realized met or exceeded our expectations.
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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