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

1860 $20 J-272a (Proof)

Image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution
34.00 millimeters
James Barton Longacre
33.43 grams
Metal Content:
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. The regular die with the head of Liberty facing left wearing a beaded coronet inscribed LIBERTY. Thirteen stars are around the border and the date, 1860, is below the bust. Reverse. Similar to the regular reverse with an eagle in the center with a shield on its breast, three arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right. An ornate scroll to the left of the shield is inscribed E PLURIBUS and a similar one at the right is inscribed UNUM. Above the eagle's head are rays and an oval of 13 stars. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around the border and the denomination TWENTY D, is below the eagle. This reverse differs from the regular die in that the letters are much smaller.

Comments: The 1861 Paquet double eagle is now known to be a regular issue although for years it was considered to be a pattern because of its extreme rarity. (Only three specimens are known, one of which was offered in the Parmelee sale in 1890 and later reappeared in the Farouk sale. Another specimen was obtained by Paramount from Europe in the late 1960's.) Therefore, the 1860 Paquet double eagle is a transitional pattern, that is, a pattern whose design was adopted in a subsequent year.

For some reason, this pattern was not listed in the pattern book by Adams and Woodin. Only one specimen is known in gold and it is in the Mint Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.