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    1881 Liberty Double Eagle, AU58
    Famous Low-Mintage Issue
    Ex: Harry Bass

    1881 $20 AU58 PCGS. The 1881 Philadelphia Mint production of double eagles consisted of only 2,199 coins. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population at just 40-60 examples in all grades. This was the beginning of several years of low-mintage production of double eagles in Philadelphia, through 1887, with the other Mint locations producing far larger quantities.

    The present coin is pedigreed to Harry Bass's famed collection. He had one of the most extensive collections of gold coins ever amassed when he died in 1998. 19th century gold coins were an early love. Bass was known as an astute collector, carefully studying and learning, becoming an expert. He built one of the finest collections of numismatic books and auction catalogs as part of his quest to acquire as much knowledge as possible.

    This Choice AU example was the sole 1881 double eagle among the coins sold from his collection in 1999 and 2000. As stated in the lot description of the Bowers and Merena catalog after discussing the rarity of these pieces, "Perhaps lending further radiance to the desirability of the present piece it is a fact that Harry Bass was never able to obtain a Proof of this date in a quality which pleased him."

    Gleaming yellow-gold surfaces provide this example with a pleasing appearance. As expected at this grade level, scattered marks are present, including a few on Liberty's cheek. The strongly impressed design elements show just a trace of wear. PCGS and NGC combined have awarded the AU58 grade to 15 examples, with only 11 pieces earning higher grades (5/21).
    Ex: Purchased from Frank Sternberg, Zurich (11/1967); Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1879; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2014), lot 5549.(Registry values: N4719)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26BC, PCGS# 8994)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    17th-20th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 339

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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    Jim Beasley, Tilden Coin Company,
    Allamonte Springs, FL
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