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SERIES: Patterns - PR
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1860 $20 J-273, BN (Proof)

34.00 millimeters
James Barton Longacre
Metal Content:
P. Scott Rubin: 1860 Pattern Double Eagle struck in copper Judd-273 with Paquet Reverse

The 1860 Pattern Double Eagle struck in copper with Paquet Reverse, Judd-273, is an extremely rare pattern considered a Rarity-8 (2 or 3 known). What makes it even more desirable is the fact that it is the earliest dated Double Eagle with the very popular Paquet Reverse of the Philadelphia style.

There were two different hubs used to make the Paquet Reverse Double Eagles for regular issue coinage. The one used in striking the two known Philadelphia 1861 Paquet Reverse coins and a different hub was used on all the San Francisco Double Eagles of 1861 Paquet Reverse coins.

This difference was discovered in 1988 by Michael Hodder when he was cataloging the Norweb collection for Bowers and Merena, but the fact that this 1860 Pattern J-273 was struck from the Philadelphia style hub was not discover until, 1990 when I noticed the difference while working with Michael Hodder and John J. Ford, Jr. on a paper on the Paquet Reverse coinage for a COAC conference, where it was presented and later published in the ANA Centennial Anthology.

Although slight the differences are obvious. On the Philadelphia style Paquet Reverse the Eagle’s wing tips point to the E’s in United and America and the thick Ray points to the left of the O of Of. On the San Francisco style Paquet Reverse coins the Eagle’s wing tips point between the TE of United and ER of America, also under the O of Of is thick Ray from around the stars, which is used on Judd-260 and Judd-272a.