1876-S Liberty Double Eagle NGC MS64

Rare, Last Year of Type

The 1876-S double eagle had a mintage exceeding 1.5 million coins, but this does not necessarily translate into high-grade availability. Mint State coins are only plentiful through the MS62 level, after which the certified population drops off sharply. In MS64, the ’76-S is a major condition rarity and anything finer is almost unobtainable. The NGC is only 11 with 5 higher. This particular example offers a pleasing overall appearance.

Offered at $32,625 delivered

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1910-D Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS67

1 of Just 2 So-Graded

The Denver Mint coined a substantial number of double eagles in its fifth year of operation, 429,000 according to Mint records, and surviving specimens are plentiful in all grades through MS65 and somewhat available at the MS66 level. However, finer pieces are rare. There are no reports of hoards in the literature, although repatriated European and South American exports undoubtedly account for most Mint State pieces known today. The NGC population is just 2 with none higher. 

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Offered at $59,100 delivered

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1908 Motto Saint Gaudens

Double Eagle PCGS PR66

The Philadelphia Mint found it impossible to polish the basined surfaces and high relief devices of the new Saint-Gaudens design in the same manner as the old brilliant proofs of previous years. Accordingly, they adopted an artistic matte, or sandblast, finish for gold proof coins in 1908. After striking, the 1908 proofs were heavily sandblasted with a coarse grain of sand that produced a dark olive-gold patina, with none of the reflective fields and field-device contrast of earlier proofs. The resulting finish resembled that seen on some European medals of the period, but contemporary U.S. collectors much preferred the old brilliant proof finish. Mint records indicate only 101 proof double eagles were distributed in 1908. Remaining unsold pieces were subsequently melted. Probably no more than 60 to 70 examples survive today in all grades. In hand, the color is more of a yellow-gold than the reddish-orange seen in our images. The PCGS population is only 5 with 3 higher.

Offered at $145, 700 delivered

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1928 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS67

Superb, Satiny Saint

As the last date in the Saint-Gaudens series that is generally available in high grade, the 1928 double eagle is frequently tapped for type purposes. This issue is also often well struck, and high-grade examples sometimes exhibit eye appeal that rivals that of many 1923-D coins. Such is the case with this Superb Gem example. Only two have been graded higher by NGC, each of them, MS67+.

Offered at $14,200 delivered

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1911 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC PR66

Luscious Proof

In his recent reference on proof U.S. gold, John Dannreuther specifically commented on the color and texture of the 1911 proof twenties:

“The 100 Proof double eagles struck in 1911 have a lighter finish than seen for the 1908 issues. Many 1911 Proofs have a light orange color with shiny sparkles created by a finer sand grain. The matte finish is among the most desired by today’s collectors, so many of these have found their way into type sets. If one has a choice, the lighter color and sparkle found on 1911 Proofs often is preferred over the darker issues of 1908 and 1912 through 1915.” Only 65 to 70 individual pieces are believed to have survived today in all grades.

Offered at $115, 350 delivered

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1859 Liberty Double Eagle PCGS AU55

A Head Turner (or Turned)

In the early 1850s, substantial California Gold Rush bullion was shipped via Panama to the Philadelphia Mint for coining. The advent of the San Francisco Mint, and its emergence from growing pains, slowed the flood of West Coast bullion to a trickle by 1859. That year, Philadelphia struck only 43,597 double eagles, down from more than 2,000,000 pieces in 1851 and 1852. The few collectors of large denomination gold selected proofs, and the 1859 is nearly unobtainable in Mint State. Patience is required to locate any example, and when one appears in the marketplace, it is almost always in XF to AU grades. This particular example is noticeably more lustrous and attractive in hand.

Offered at $15,750 delivered

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1859-O Liberty Double Eagle NGC XF45

A Rare O-mint $20 Lib

The 1859-O is a rare New Orleans double eagle with a small 9,100-coin mintage. Perhaps only approximately 100 pieces are known in all grades, primarily distributed throughout the various XF and AU levels. Only two Mint State pieces are documented, both heavily bag-marked. The 1859-O shares its rarity with most other O-Mint twenties leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War. After the San Francisco Mint became operational in 1854, gold deposits in New Orleans declined significantly, and large denomination gold coinage plummeted. Between 1854 and the 1909, when the New Orleans Mint ceased coin production for the final time, fewer than 115,000 double eagles were struck at that facility.

Offered at $33,750 delivered

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1866 Motto Liberty Double Eagle PCGS MS63

Pop 1, One Graded Higher

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse of the double eagle design in 1866 and the Philadelphia Mint struck 698,775 coins with the new motif. The coins circulated heavily in the 19th century and few high-quality examples were saved by contemporary collectors. The issue is prized by type collectors today, as the first year of the Type Two design, but examples in MS62 condition are very rare, and finer coins are virtually unobtainable. In hand, the color of this coin tends a bit more towards yellow gold, as opposed to the orange-gold seen in our images. This is the only PCGS MS63, with a single (MS64) example graded higher.

Offered at $59,100 delivered

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1912 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC PR65

Gem

As the various proof finishes offered by the Mint in the early 20th century became increasingly unpopular with the public, production totals dropped accordingly. Only 74 proof Saint-Gaudens double eagles were struck in 1912, using an innovative sandblast process in place of the earlier matte and Roman finishes. The sandblast finish created an even mustard coloration over both sides of the coin, with tiny sparkling facets that can be observed with magnification. This sparkle gives the surfaces a vibrant “life” to balance the deep monochromatic coloration. Unfortunately, the sandblast finish proved just as unpopular as the matte and Roman proofs of earlier years. It is likely that some of the coins went unsold and were melted after the end of the year.

Offered at $84,000 delivered

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1913 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS65+

Just 1 Graded Higher

A relatively modest business-strike mintage of 168,838 Saint-Gaudens double eagles was accomplished at the Philadelphia Mint in 1913. The coins were produced in nine deliveries, spaced throughout the year. Most of the circulation-strike coins were sent to European and Latin American destinations, and Roger W. Burdette estimates about 5,000 examples have been repatriated from overseas sources in recent times. Most examples seen are in lower Mint State grades, with the expected number of bag-marks from rough storage and transport. This is a rare issue at the MS65 grade level, and finer coins are virtually unobtainable. In fact, the one we offer here is the only NGC MS65+, with just one (MS66) example graded higher.

Offered at $41,440 delivered

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