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    1879 Double Eagle, MS65
    Single Finest Ever Auctioned
    Tied at the Top of the Condition Census

    1879 $20 Doubled Die Reverse, FS-801, MS65 NGC. The 1879 is a date that many old-time double eagle collections lacked in Mint State. When David Akers performed his analysis of auction records for this denomination in 1982, he listed only 14 appearances of a Mint State coin and called such pieces "very scarce." Presumably many of the Uncirculated examples known today were repatriated from overseas hoards, and the bagmarked surfaces of most are further reminiscent of trade coins. The 1879 is a date that is rare any finer than MS62, extremely rare in MS64, and up until just a few years ago was unknown in Gem condition. NGC and PCGS each list a single MS65, and NGC lists a single MS66 coin as the finest known.

    Impressively sharp design elements complement blazing, frosty cartwheel luster and original yellow-gold coloration. Collectively, a few insignificant luster grazes prevent an even finer grade, although these melt into the luminous surfaces and cause no visual intrusion.

    The reverse shows sharp die doubling of virtually all lettering, most notably on AMERICA, E PLURIBUS, and IN GOD WE TRUST. This Cherrypickers' variety is intriguing to the die characteristic specialist, but it is largely overshadowed by the incredible quality and conditional rarity that this top-grade 1879 double eagle possesses. As Mike Fuljenz writes in Type Three Double Eagles, second edition, "It might be a number of years before a properly graded MS63 or better piece with clean surfaces is offered for sale ... This is a Type Three issue with excellent growth potential in all uncirculated grades." Arguably no Mint State 1879 has more growth potential than this Gem.

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 145736, Base PCGS# 8988)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    15th-18th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 678

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