Extremely Rare Uncirculated 1882 Double Eagle

    1882 $20 MS60 PCGS. Ex: Dr. Barry Southerland Collection. Last offered (but not sold) at public auction in our August, 2000 Philadelphia Sale as lot 7471. We quote in part from that description, updating where necessary: "First introduced in 1849, Longacre's Liberty motif would grace the double eagle through 1907. This long-lived series has numerous scarce deliveries and several legendary rarities among its business strike issues. The latter include the 1854-O, 1856-O, 1861 Paquet, 1870-CC, 1881, 1885, and 1886. With a total original mintage of only 630 pieces, the 1882 not also belongs in the same category as these other issues, but it surpasses all of them in terms of rarity with the exception of the 1861 Paquet. Unlike the 1881, the 1882 is more difficult to locate in business strike format. There are perhaps 13-15 extant proofs from an original delivery of 59 specimens, but Akers places the total number of business strike survivors at no more than 12 coins....
    According to Breen (1977 and 1988), the Philadelphia Mint used a single pair of dies to produce its 571 business strike and 59 proof 1882 double eagles. Since most, if not all of the business strikes are fully prooflike and some of the proofs have been impaired from either circulation or mishandling, the line between the two deliveries can become blurry. For example, Akers (1982) states: "There is also one known [Uncirculated 1882 double eagle] and that coin is really something. By the most conservative grading standards it is a true Gem...or possibly even a bit better." Since we are confident that Akers could not have been referring to the present example, he may have mistaken a well preserved proof for a Gem BU survivor. Still, we must also allow for the possibility that Akers was referring to a coin that has since remained uncertified, perhaps tucked away in the collection of a little known specialist.
    The potential confusion that surrounds this issue notwithstanding, we are confident that this Uncirculated example will garner all of the accolades that its low mintage and poor rate of survival deserve. This is a fully prooflike example whose devices are as sharply defined as one could expect for on a business striking. The noticeably abraded, scuffy appearance accounts for the grade, but the thickly frosted devices, fully mirrored fields, and rich orange-rose patina provide relatively pleasing eye appeal. A moderate abrasion in the obverse field between stars 4 and 5 should be useful as a pedigree marker." A great rarity among Liberty double eagles with real potential to reach six figures. Population: 1 in 60, 2 finer (11/06).
    From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26BE, PCGS# 8996)

    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 Kutasi Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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