Unimprovable 1862-S Twenty Dollar, MS63
1862-S $20 MS63 NGC. Breen-7214. Repunched 86. The present
MS63 NGC 1862-S twenty from the Galt's Gulch Collection, like most
of its brethren in this complete run of Type One S-mint double
eagles, is among the few finest obtainable of the issue. NGC shows
only three submissions at this grade level, and there is one in
equal grade at PCGS (10/11).
With Repunched 86 in Date, Breen-7214
In Philadelphia during 1862, the second year of the Civil War, the mintage figure for double eagles plummeted to a relatively meager 92,133 business strikes, as the outcome of the conflict was increasingly in doubt. Today the 1862 Philadelphia twenty is among the rarest P-mint Type One issues, one that is rare in all grades, according to Garrett and Guth. The only shipwreck coins that were discovered were nine pieces aboard the S.S. Republic, including a few in Mint State.
In San Francisco, however, the 1862 narrative was considerably different. Gold and silver continued to circulate in the West until World War I, unlike in the East, where it was seldom seen in quantity in circulation after the Civil War; even when "parity" between gold, silver, and paper currency was achieved in late 1878, paper currency was favored for most domestic transactions. San Francisco's double eagle mintage actually increased from the previous year, 787,250 pieces (including the Paquet Reverse coins) for 1861 versus 854,173 for 1862.
We are unable to say if the present piece is a treasure coin or not, but we are sure that it will be a treasured coin in any collection in which it resides. Examination of our Permanent Auction Archives confirms our suspicions: Only a single time before have we offered an example of the 1862-S in so fine a grade. An MS63 NGC example with CAC green label in our Sacramento Signature (Heritage, 3/2011), lot 4925, realized $57,500. That piece, however, while an attractive coin in its own right, lacked the Repunched 86 feature of the present piece, an attribute that significantly increases the already-broad appeal. The 8 shows the top and bottom loops of a previously punched digit slightly lower in both loops of the final digit. What is quite curious, however, is that the remains of a much lower (in comparison to the 8) previous 6 appear beneath the subsequent 6. If these dies were made using four-digit date logotypes as we have been led to believe by Bowers in his Guide Book of double eagles, how is it that the repunched 6 in the date can be positioned so much lower than the 8? We cannot answer, but the piece is a fascinating one for that reason.
Besides the interesting variety, listed in Breen's Complete Encyclopedia as "rare," this piece offers much aesthetic appeal to boot. The obverse is well-struck and displays frosty luster over surfaces that are relatively unmarked for the grade. The reverse is of similar quality, showing just a few minor, scattered marks of no importance. A lovely example of this mid-Civil War date, and another essentially unimprovable representative of the issue from this stunning collection.
From The Galt's Gulch Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 269N, PCGS# 8938)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
View all of [The Galt's Gulch Collection ]
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