1861 $20 MS (PCGS# 8932)
The November 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 9860
View the Original Auction
The beginning of the nation's breakup began in December 1860 when South Carolina seceded from the Union. Six other states would do so in the early months of 1861 in protest to the Morrill Tariff and the election of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president. These seven states joined together to form the Confederate States of America. An action like this could only provoke and panic the banking and moneyed interests of New York and the East Coast, of course. Depositors inundated the mints with bullion for coinage into gold (compare mintage figures on all the gold denominations to the results from 1860). Many double eagles, however, were sent overseas once hostilities broke out at Fort Sumter. With a war on, and military suppliers rubbing their hands in anticipation of war profits, the game was on to send goods to America, both North and South, to be paid for by means of these precious metal double eagles. <br /> This is one of the finest 1861 twenties this cataloger has seen. An exceptionally bright example of the first, or No Motto Type exhibiting mint glow on rich gold surfaces with nothing to censor it from its assigned Gem grade. The luster presents a satiny quality throughout. Soft-edged devices and lettering throughout the centers are typical on this issue, as commonly seen; however, a small percentage of this year's production is found with enough convincing detail to be called ""bold"" and this is one such coin. Marks and abrasions are virtually non-existent with nothing worthy of singular mention on either side. Watch for spirited bidding when this lot crosses the block.