Description

    Quintuple Stella
    1879 Metric Twenty in Copper, Judd-1644
    PR64+ Red and Brown

    1879 $20 Metric Twenty Dollar, Judd-1644, Pollock-1844, R.7 (but at least 4 gilt), PR64+ Red and Brown NGC. CAC.
    Design.
    Similar to that featured on the regular issue Liberty double eagle of 1879, but there are two significant differences. The obverse periphery is inscribed * 30 * G * 1.5 * S * 3.5 * C * 35 * G * R * A * M * S *, and the motto DEO EST GLORIA has been substituted for IN GOD WE TRUST within the reverse stars. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

    Commentary. The Metric twenty dollar patterns are kin to the "Stellas" or four dollar gold patterns first produced the same year. The weight pattern encoded around the obverse of a Metric twenty dollar pattern is an exact five-times multiple of the values on a stella: 6 G, .3 S, .7 C, 7 GRAMS. For this reason the Metric twenty dollar patterns sometimes are called "Quintuple Stellas," though they have eagle devices on the reverses instead of five-pointed stars. There are three varieties of Metric twenty dollars, of which the Judd-1644 in copper is the most frequently seen, but even it is very rare to extremely rare. The Judd-1643, the same design in gold, is extremely rare without question, while the Judd-1642, a copper impression without a decimal point between the 3 and 5 of "3.5 * C," is unique.

    Physical Description. This is a generally well-preserved pattern that straddles the line between near-Gem and Gem grades. Clearly reflective surfaces show significant reddish-orange color but also olive and violet mellowing. Small flyspecks affect each side, most visibly a pair on Liberty's cheek and another in the reverse glory, but there are few hairlines and next-to-no contact marks. A tiny lint strike-through, as made, appears just to the left of Liberty's neck. The six certified examples in the combined NGC-PCGS population are split between two gilt specimens, graded PR61 and PR62 by PCGS, and four non-gilt examples divided equally between the services. NGC has graded a PR64+ example, the present coin, and another at PR65. The two PCGS examples appear as PR64 and PR65 (3/13).
    From The Eric P. Newman Collection. (NGC ID# 2AHZ, PCGS# 72023)


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    24th-28th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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