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    1857-S Liberty Double Eagle, MS67
    Registry Grade Type One Specimen
    S.S. Central America

    1857-S $20 Spiked Shield, Variety 20A, MS67 PCGS. CAC. Ex: S.S. Central America, SSCA 1134. Spiked Shield, Variety 20A, named for the two die lines extending from the left side of the shield. The 1857-S Liberty double eagle claims a substantial mintage of 970,500 pieces, and examples in mid-grade circulated condition have never been hard to locate. However, like most Type One double eagles, the issue was seldom encountered in high grade before the discovery and salvage of the S.S. Central America. That unfortunate vessel sank in a hurricane off the coast of North Carolina on September 12, 1857, with the loss of 425 passengers and crew and a vast fortune in gold that was being shipped from California to New York City. The treasure consisted of more than 30,000 pounds of gold coins and bullion bars. The loss of this much specie contributed heavily to the Panic of 1857.

    Fortunately, the ship was located in the 1980s, using modern search technology and recovery vehicles, and much of the treasure was recovered intact. Among the many items brought up from the wreck were more than 5,400 high-grade examples of the 1857-S double eagle. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth noted the effect these events had on double eagle collecting in recent years:

    "The discovery of the S.S. Central America changed the landscape of collecting double eagles profoundly. There were more than 5,000 examples of the 1857-S double eagle aboard when the ship sank. Many of the examples found were in the same state of preservation as the day they left the Mint. The fabulous condition of the coins is what makes them so special; the shipwreck find made early double eagles available in high-grade condition. One of the finest examples from the hoard was a PCGS MS67 that sold at auction in early 2008 for $103,500."

    Of course, prices have continued to rise over the years, and recent sales include the MS67 PCGS example in our Chicago Signature (Heritage, 8/2014), that realized $152,750.

    The present coin is a magnificent Superb Gem, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements. The virtually flawless apricot gold surfaces are lustrous and appealing, with a minor planchet flaw below the T in UNITED the only useful pedigree marker. Housed in its original gold foil holder from PCGS. The 1857-S Liberty double eagle is listed among the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. Population: 8 in 67, 0 finer (9/19).
    From The Kodiak Collection. (Registry values: P2)

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 70000, Base PCGS# 8922)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View all of [The Kodiak Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 25
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 996

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