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

1897 $20 (Proof)

PCGS #:
9113
Diameter:
34.00 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
33.40 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
86
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$60,500 • PR65 • 10-1-1997 • David Akers
Go To Grade
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 62+
  • 63
  • 63+
  • 64
  • 64+
  • 65
60
14,000
60
61
17,000
6
61
62
22,000
1
62
62+
23,500
62+
63+
38,500
63+
64+
62,500
64+
65
100,000
2
65
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 35 R-8.8 20 / 31 TIE 42 / 55 TIE
60 or Better 33 R-8.8 20 / 31 TIE 41 / 55 TIE
65 or Better 10 R-9.5 23 / 31 TIE 38 / 55 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
1 PR65 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 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  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
3 PR64 PCGS grade  
6 PR63 PCGS grade  
7 PR62 PCGS grade  
8 PR61 PCGS grade  
8 PR61 PCGS grade  
8 PR61 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: Out of a reported mintage of 86 Proof 1897 Double Eagles, experts speculate that only 35 to 40 have survived until today.  Assuming all of the 86 Proofs were actually sold to collectors (a questionable assumption), it is doubtful that many were destroyed AFTER their release.  We know of instances where Proof gold coins ended up in circulation, but this only occurs to a minor degree, and almost never with an 1897 Proof $20.  Thus, either numerous Proof 1897 Double Eagles remain hidden, or the coins we have today are all we are going to see.

The production quality of Proof 1897 Doubles Eagles is excellent.  Virtually all examples have some degree of Cameo contrast and a small number have Deep Cameo contrast.  Demand for the best examples is intense, and at least one example (the Eliasberg Proof) has sold for over $100,000.


David Akers (1975/88): The 1897 is comparable in overall rarity to the 1894 and 1896. As such, it ranks as one of the commoner dates of the series although it is a step rarer than such ultra-common issues as the 1895, 1898-S, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1904, 1904-S and 1907. Average uncirculated examples are common and choice mint state pieces are not difficult to find. Gems are very scarce but obtainable.