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SERIES: Liberty Head $20 1849-1907
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1882 $20 (Proof)

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PCGS PR61
PCGS #:
9098
Diameter:
34.00 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
33.40 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
59
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$195,500 • PR65 • 1-15-2008 • Stack's
Go To Grade
  • 60
  • 61
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60
30,000
1
60
61
32,500
1
61
62
37,500
62
62+
40,000
62+
63
55,000
1
63
63+
60,000
63+
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110,000
64+
65
175,000
2
65
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 15 R-9.3 6 / 31 TIE 27 / 55 TIE
60 or Better 14 R-9.4 6 / 31 25 / 55 TIE
65 or Better 5 R-9.7 9 / 31 TIE 24 / 55 TIE
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
4 PR63 PCGS grade  
5 PR60 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
4 PR63 PCGS grade  
5 PR60 PCGS grade  
P. Scott Rubin: The 1882 Proof Double Eagle is a very rare coin with estimates of about 12 specimens known. Of these, at least three are off the market, since two are in the Smithsonian’s collection and one is in the collection of The American Numismatic Society.

The 1882 $20 gold piece is a very desirable coin, since there are only probably less than thirty specimens known, including both Proof and circulation strikes known. Actually, this number may be on the high side.

Collecting Double Eagles by date and mintmark is a relatively new endeavor in American numismatics. It only became popular in the middle of the twentieth century. Before then the few people who collected Double Eagles were satisfied with a coin of each year with no concern over which mint coined the example.

It appears that the only reason even the small number of Proof of 1882 Double Eagles survived is because a number of wealthy collectors of the day purchased Gold Proof Sets. However, over the years virtually all of these Proof Sets were broken up by denomination collectors or because of the high gold value of the larger denominations. This was especially true of the Double Eagles which for many years did not have high collector demand.

Today, because of these early Proof Set purchases, some of the surviving specimens are of gem quality. The finest appears to be a coin graded Proof-66 Ultra Cameo by NGC that last sold in Heritage’s October, 2012 Auction as lot 6316 for the record price of $293,750. This coin was identified as being from The Gnome at the Shore Collection; this same coin had previously sold in the Goldberg September Sale of 2008 as lot 1294 as part of the Ohringer Family Trust Holdings for $195,500.
David Akers (1975/88): I estimate that 13-15 proofs exist. As a an interesting note on this date, I must mention that I have seen a "love token" made from a proof 1882 Double Eagle. The obverse is very choice with all of its original proof surface while the reverse is beautifully engraved.