Attractive 1879-O Double Eagle, XF401879-O $20 XF40 NGC. Only 2,325 of these pieces were coined, representing the final New Orleans double eagle, and the only issue of the With Motto type. Prior to this meager coinage total, double eagles were last coined in 1861. In fact, no coins of any denomination were coined during the years from 1862 to 1878. Falling into the hands of the State of Louisiana, and then the Confederacy in 1861, the facility remained dormant for many years following the Civil War. The reopening of the New Orleans facility was in obvious response to the Bland-Allison Act, passed a year earlier. The tremendous quantities of silver that the government purchased and converted to Morgan dollars required maximum coining capability. An interesting question is not why so few double eagles were coined there in 1879, but why any were coined at all. New Orleans continued to produce coinage until 1909, when the presses were halted permanently.
This example has bright yellow surfaces with satiny luster and prooflike reflectivity remaining in the protected areas of the fields near the design elements. Both sides have the usual scattered abrasions with an obverse rim bruise at star 8. The design elements are sharp and the overall eye appeal is excellent for the grade. The opportunity to acquire any 1879-O double eagle seldom occurs. In the last 15 years we have handled less than 40 pieces in our auctions. Census: 10 in 40, 57 finer (9/08).
From The Deadwood Gulch Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26B8, PCGS# 8990)
Weight: 33.44 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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