Made for collectors, worth over $150,000: the 1860 double eagle coin



2015-06-26 12:12:28

Made for collectors, worth over $150,000: the 1860 double eagle coin

Highly graded $20 Liberty Head double coins are always valuable - but this piece is particularly special

Historic gold coins intended for circulation can bring big sums at auction. But how about proof gold coins that were made especially for collectors?

Among the earliest examples selling from the Henry Miller Collection of rare gold coins at Heritage Auction Galleries on January 5-8 is this 1860 double eagle.

The coin has been graded PR64 by the NGC with CAC sticker and $20 PR64 NGC CAC Proof Liberty Head double eagles of any date are rare, especially in high grade.

But this proof double eagle of the 1860s vintage is even rarer still. What's more, the year 1860 was only three years after the first great wave of coin collecting arose in America.

Most members of the burgeoning collector community were pursuing either Washington items, Colonials, foreign coins, or the "old coppers" (the large cents and half cents that had been only recently withdrawn from circulation).

 The $20 PR64 NGC CAC Proof Liberty Head double eagle

The Liberty Head double eagle design was developed in 1849 and launched commercially in 1850 in response to the great wave of newly mined gold from the West.Today, proof double eagles dated before 1858 are understood to be all but nonexistent.

In 1860, few collectors were interested in assembling modern-era gold coins - and fewer still were the number interested in obtaining (and preserving) a proof double eagle over a Mint State business strike.

The year 1860 was also only the third year that the Mint publicly marketed proof coins to collectors. Today, the proof mintage of the 1860 double eagle is recorded as 59 pieces.

They were manufactured with frosted devices against deeply mirrored fields - a prized attribute among collectors today and one that is responsible for the existence of wonderful borderline Cameo examples such as this PR64 specimen (pictured).

Also considering the fact that two examples of this coin are off the market - presumably forever -in museum collections, this 1860 double eagle will undoubtedly be among the big highlights in Heritage's sale.

Online bids currently stand at $150,000 with Buyer's Premium. Watch this space for mroe news on Heritage's sale.

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Images: Heritage

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