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All Posts Tagged With: "Liberty Head Double eagles"

San Francisco Double Eagles: A Date by Date Analysis Part Three

By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com

Part One
Part Two

In 1877, a third type of double eagle was created when the reverse valuation was changed from TWENTY D to TWENTY DOLLARS. Liberty Head double eagles were produced with just one interruption (1886) from 1877 through 1907. This is a very easy series to complete as all thirty issues are readily available in the lower Uncirculated grades and many of the post-1890 date can even be found in Gem.

I would recommend this series for beginning collectors or advanced collectors who are more interested in grade than absolute rarity. What follows is a date-by-date analysis of each issue.

1877-S: This is the most common Type Three San Francisco double eagle from the 1870’s. It is common in grades up to an including MS62. It becomes scarce in MS63 and is very rare in MS64 and above. Most are seen with good luster and nice color but heavily abraded surfaces. The finest known is Stack’s 1/09: 1420, graded MS65 by NGC, which set a record price for the date at $29,900.

1878-S: The 1878-S is scarcer than the 1877-S but it is still a fairly easy date to find in grades up to an including MS62. In MS63 it is rare and it is extremely rare above this. The finest that I have personally seen is the high end PCGS MS63, ex Heritage 9/06: 4139, which sold for a strong $23,000. This date is characterized by soft, frosty luster and heavy abrasions on the surfaces.

1879-S:
This is easily the scarcest San Francisco Type Three double eagle from the 1870’s and it is one of the harder SF issues of this type to locate. It is scarce even in the lowest Uncirculated grades and it is very scarce in properly graded MS62. In MS63, the 1879-S is very rare and there is but one example graded better than this, a PCGS MS64, ex Heritage 9/07: 3851, which sold for an amazing $63,250. Virtually every known example is marred by excessive bagmarks and many have impaired luster as a result.

1880-S: The 1880-S is only marginally scarce in MS60 to MS61 but it becomes a hard date to find in properly graded MS62. It is rare in MS63 and very rare above this but there are a few very high quality pieces known. The best is a superb NGC MS66, ex Heritage 2004 ANA: 7626, which brought a hefty $92,000 and the second best is an NGC MS65, ex Bowers and Merena 2/06: 603 that was bid up to $54,625. These are the two best early date Type Three San Francisco double eagles that I have personally seen.

1881-S: The 1881-S is much more available in the MS60 to MS62 range than the 1879-S and 1880-S. It is only moderately scarce in MS62 but it becomes rare in MS63 and I have never seen one that graded higher than this. The best I am aware of are a small group of nice PCGS MS63 coins, the last of which to sell was Heritage 4/09: 2763 (at $17,250). As with all of the early S Mint Type Three issues, this date is characterized by good luster and color but heavy surface marks.

1882-S: Beginning with this issue, the Type Threes from San Francisco become more available in the lower Uncirculated grades. The 1882-S is very common through MS62 and slightly scarce in MS63. But it is very rare in properly graded MS64 and I am not aware of any Gems. The best I know of is ex Heritage 7/06: 1714; a PCGS MS63 that brought $23,000.

1883-S:
The 1883-S is very common through MS63 but it becomes very rare in MS64 and it may not exist in Gem. This date is seen with good luster and color but is almost always very heavily abraded. There is a small group of properly graded MS64’s known and the last of these to sell was Heritage 1/10: 2261, graded by NGC, which realized $16,100. (more…)

NGC Coin Grading: Highest-Graded 1872-CC $20 Double Eagle

This wholly original and beautifully struck specimen is one of the finest our graders have ever seen, and is now the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

NGC graders are fortunate to have seen more coins than anyone, but they always take time to appreciate truly special coins. The unexpected encounter with this 1872-CC $20 is one such example. Wholly original and beautifully struck, it was instantly recognizable as the finest our graders had ever seen. It graded MS 62 , making it both the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

Carson City Double Eagles are compelling coins. They combine their historical intrigue as coins of the pioneer West with their significant scarcity. The 1872-CC is the third $20 gold piece issue from the Carson City Mint. Since the 1870-CC is a major rarity and the 1871-CC is very elusive in all grades, the 1872-CC is, in contrast, considered to be “available” to collectors. Virtually all of the 26,900 struck likely entered circulation, and certainly fewer than 20 uncirculated examples survive.

Most 1872-CC double eagles show heavy bag marks; those that are spared heavy wear can exhibit a pleasing strike; however this example is particularly sharp and crisp. How this coin survived the rough handling that is typical of the issue is not known. After certification, NGC was informed that this example resided in a private family collection and was purchased in Europe during the 1920s only with a small group of similar era US gold coins.

More information on NGC and the services they offer can be found at the NGC Website