Finest NGC-Graded 1857-S Eagle, MS63, Ex: S.S. Central America1857-S $10 MS63 NGC. Ex: S.S. Central America. Writing in 1980, David Akers commented regarding this issue, "Low grade specimens are the norm for this date yet the 1857-S is sufficiently rare that even VF and EF examples are seldom seen. I have seen two or three AU's but have neither seen nor heard of a strictly uncirculated piece. The 1857-S is just as rare as the lower mintage 1857-O and is very nearly as rare as the 1855-S. It is considerably more rare than the 1854-S or 1856-S." Of course, Akers wrote those words before the Columbus-America Discovery Group began hauling up 1857-S double eagles by the bucketload up from the ocean's depths during the salvage of the S.S. Central America bounty. However, the 1857-S eagle remains today quite rare: This is the finest Mint State piece at NGC by two full points, and the only specimen that NGC has encapsulated with the S.S. Central America pedigree. The other Mint State piece at NGC is an MS61, ex: S.S. Republic. PCGS has graded six Mint State coins, two each in MS62, MS63, and MS64, none with the SSCA pedigree.
While the ill-fated steamship carried large crates full of freshly minted double eagles, this eagle might have been a piece carried by a passenger who boarded the S.S. Sonora in San Francisco for the trip to Panama. (The S.S. Central America made the second, Atlantic Ocean leg, bound for New York from the eastern side of Panama.) This piece offers brilliant yellow-gold surfaces with only a touch of light haze around the obverse periphery. A couple of light reeding marks and other signs of contact account for the grade. The mintmark is large and close to the fletchings.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 263V, PCGS# 8624)
Weight: 16.72 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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