1880-S $20 MS (PCGS# 8993)

2004 ANA Signature Sale #352

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1880-S $20 MS66 NGC. The 1880-S had a relatively large mintage for coins of the era with 836,000 pieces struck. Still, it is the fourth scarcest of the thirty Type Three double eagles from this mint. It has a similar grade distribution to the 1877-S and the 1878-S with most examples in the AU53 to AU58 grade range, and a few lower grade Unc coins that appeared on the market almost ten years ago. While the 1880-S is scarcer (as an issue) than its mintage would suggest, what is significant about this particular coin is its extraordinary and atypically well preserved surfaces. In fact, one can almost define what is special about this coin by how it differs from the normally encountered 1880-S twenty. This issue is normally found with significant bagmarks--however, this coin is almost free from any abrasions of any size, one will have to look very closely with a magnifier to locate even the tiniest imperfections. While generally well struck, the radials on the obverse stars are often weakly defined--on this piece each star is fully detailed as well as all the other design elements. Many of the survivors show small black grease stains (as struck) and alloy spots--on this coin there are no black grease stains, and the only noticeable alloy spot is located at the top of the 1 in the date, magnification shows several microscopic alloy spots on the reverse but these are not visible to the unaided eye. Most 1880-S twenties show typical eye appeal for an S-mint double eagle from this era--the eye appeal of this piece is immediate and lasting, being far above average for any Type Three issue, including the most common dates, such as the 1904, 1900, and 1904-S. What is typical about this coin is the pleasing rose-green coloration and exceptionally lustrous surfaces, but these attributes are only seen on the finest examples known of this issue, and here they are found in abundance. This is the finest 1880-S double eagle certified by either of the major grading services (5/04), an
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