Historic 1861-S Double Eagle
    Paquet Reverse, AU53

    1861-S $20 Paquet AU53 PCGS. In late 1860, Anthony Paquet produced a new style of reverse die for the double eagle. Paquet's design was characterized by taller, thinner letters in the peripheral inscriptions and a narrow reverse rim. Dies were shipped to the branch Mints at New Orleans and San Francisco (four pairs), and production commenced at Philadelphia on January 5, 1861. Unfortunately, the narrow rim caused problems in the striking process, and Mint Director James Ross Snowden ordered a halt to production with the new dies. Messages were immediately sent to New Orleans and San Francisco to cancel production at those facilities. The message to New Orleans arrived by telegraph in a timely manner, and no coins were minted there. The situation in San Francisco was more complicated, as the telegraph lines were only completed as far as St. Joseph, Missouri. From that point, the message was carried by overland express. Snowden's instructions did not reach San Francisco until February 2, 1861. Production was halted immediately, but 19,250 double eagles had already been coined, using two of the new reverse dies, in the time required for Snowden's directive to reach authorities in San Francisco.
    The coins struck in this time period were paid out to customers and circulated readily in the local economy, or were shipped overseas. Today, approximately 200 examples of this romantic issue survive, making it the rarest double eagle of the San Francisco Mint.
    Little notice was taken of the Paquet reverse in contemporary numismatic circles. W. Elliot Woodward auctioned one of the extremely rare Philadelphia specimens on March 20, 1865, and took notice of the different design. Another Philadelphia example was featured in Edward Cogan's sale of the Cohen Collection in 1875. These two coins are believed to be the only extant specimens of the Paquet Reverse double eagle from the Philadelphia Mint. They continued to appear in various auction catalogs over the years, but no example of a San Francisco double eagle with this reverse was mentioned in auction catalogs of the 19th century. The July 1895 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics had some discussion of this issue, and Nathan M. Kaufman had one of the coins in his collection, but he may not have noticed the difference between his coin and the regular-issue 1861-S double eagles. All knowledge of the San Francisco Paquet Reverse double eagles eventually faded from the numismatic community.
    Numismatists were startled when an 1861-S double eagle with a strange reverse was discovered under an old barn in Hull, Texas in 1937. Initially believed to be unique, the coin was widely publicized and discussed. With heightened awareness of the issue, numismatists began to discover more examples. Today approximately 200 pieces are known, all in circulated grades.
    With respect to grade, the present coin is in the top 20% of surviving examples. A few specimens have been certified at the AU58 level, but no Mint State coins are known. The coin exhibits gentle, even wear on the high points, with a minimum of abrasions and no serious problems. Attractive yellow-gold color suffuses the surfaces, with hints of rose in the fields. We expect spirited competition for this scarce and elegant prize. Population: 10 in 53, 7 finer (11/08).
    See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 269L, PCGS# 8936)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 858

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Floor auctions

    Open for bidding: (View All)

    Fine Art
    Ends on 01/30/2018

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 20 days left to consign to the 2018 March 29 - April 2 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I wish to extend our appreciation to you for over $925,000.00 realized from the above subject auction. This amount realized was approximately $110,000.00 more than we anticipated.
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
    Newport Beach, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 January 3 - 8 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa
    2018 January 3 - 8 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa
    REALIZED $40,941,114
    2018 January 16 - 17 NYINC World Coins Signature Internet Auction - New York
    2018 January 16 - 17 NYINC World Coins Signature Internet Auction - New York
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,395,496
    2018 January 4 - 8 FUN World Currency Signature Auction - Tampa
    2018 January 4 - 8 FUN World Currency Signature Auction - Tampa
    REALIZED $1,645,081