Description

    Classic Rarity 1891 Double Eagle, AU58
    One of 1,390 Circulation Strikes Made

    1891 $20 AU58 NGC. The 1891 double eagle is one of those classic American gold rarities that was struck in business strike format, but whose total mintage approaches the minuscule magic level of 1,000 coins--in this case 1,390 pieces. In 2000 Michael Fuljenz and Doug Winter, in Type III Double Eagles 1877-1907, called the issue "the rarest Type Three Double Eagle struck after the 1880's. Despite its obvious rarity, it is an issue which remains curiously overlooked and undervalued in comparison to some of the other ultra-low mintage dates from the 1880's."
    A short list of those dates would include the 1886 double eagle (mintage 1,000 coins), the 1885 double eagle (mintage a near-mythic 751 coins), the 1882 (even more incredible at 571 coins), and the 1881 (2,199 coins). An analysis of price data versus production totals suggests that the 1881 and 1891 may be considerably underpriced still, in relation to some of their lower-mintage cousins. For example, the 1891 has a mintage that is 39% more than the 1886's, yet the PCGS price of the 1886 is more than double that of the 1891 in AU55 (the nearest published grade to the present coin). We should here note the PCGS disclaimer that its prices only apply to PCGS-certified coins, and that the data here do not factor in survival rates, which might alter the outcomes.
    Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth wrote in their gold coin reference (2006) that they believe fewer than 100 examples survive of the 1891 double eagle in all grades. With such a tiny emission, a number of the certified survivors are Prooflike. The present coin, while not so certified, is one of only 15 non-Prooflike pieces at NGC, which has seen but three pieces numerically finer: one each in MS60, MS61, and MS62 (9/09).
    Only the slightest amount of rub separates this piece from Mint State, appearing on the obverse as a slight color change amid a patch of roughness on the cheek, caused by minor contact. A similar whisper of wear appears on the leading edges of the eagle's wings. This piece was clearly plucked from circulation (if it ever saw it) shortly after its release.
    From The Little Rock Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26C2, PCGS# 9016)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    22nd-24th Thursday-Saturday
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