1860 $20 MS (PCGS# 8929)

2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction- Pittsburgh #1160

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1860 $20 MS64 NGC. More than half a million examples of the 1860 double eagle were struck, and many have survived in various circulated grades. Lower-tier Mint State coins are also available for a price, but Select and better coins are rare and come on the market only infrequently. Many of the certified MS63-and-up examples are sourced to the S.S. Republic shipwreck, lost in 1865 off the American Atlantic coast while en route from New York City to New Orleans and salvaged by Odyssey Marine Exploration in 2003. Garrett and Guth note in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins entry for the 1860 double eagle, "The ship contained nearly 100 coins, a few of which have been certified as MS-64 or MS-65." The NGC Census Report lists two MS64 examples with the S.S. Republic tagline and one MS65; non-S.S. Republic pieces amount to four MS64 and none finer (9/11). This near-Gem has bright and swirling luster, strongly cartwheeled with a faintly satiny undercurrent. Liberty's hair shows strong lines and faint frostiness on its high points, as do the high points elsewhere on the piece. A handful of tiny nicks and a few longer but shallow marks are relatively inoffensive when taken on their own, though they sum up to an appropriate near-Gem designation that nonetheless undersells this example's considerable visual appeal. The coin comes with an informative DVD, brass-accented presentation box, and slipcover.
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