Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 17,741
Catalog: KM-74.1
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1253.30 (4/18/2014)
Diameter: 34mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1861 O $20 MS obverse 1861 O $20 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

An extremely popular issue among Southern gold specialists, the 1861-O is the final Double Eagle produced at the New Orleans Mint prior to 1879. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 explains why three different governing authorities struck Double Eagles in New Orleans that year. In January, Union authorities delivered 5,000 examples. These were followed by an additional 9,750 pieces struck by the State of Louisiana from late January through May and a further 2,991 coins that the Confederate States of America produced after June 1. The combined mintage of the 1861-O Double Eagle, therefore, is 17,741 pieces. Numismatic legend has it that the surviving examples with soft definition on the bottom of the date are those coins that were produced by the Confederacy. This has been disproved because all survivors of this issue display some degree of weakness in this area. It seems that the date logotype was lightly impressed into the die. Extensive die polishing resulted in the prooflike finish that most '61-O Twenties display, but it also further weakened the bottom of the date. In a vain effort to correct this defect, an employee at the New Orleans Mint tried to re-engrave the lower edge of the 8.

While there is no way to determine which governing authority struck which 1861-O Double Eagles, the popularity and desirability of this issue remains constant among advanced collectors. Doug Winter's most recent (January 2002) estimate on the number of extant examples in all grades is 135-165 pieces, of which 30 coins grade AU50-AU58. To date, the '61-O is unknown in Mint State.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/19/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1861 O $20 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 6500 7500 8750 17250 32500 32500 55750 61000 73500 93500 140000 185000 - - - - - - - - -
$ 36000 59500 67000 80000 105000 165000 - - - - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 102
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 61


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/21/1998 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 1998 Mid-Winter ANA Signature Sale #184, 184/Lot# 6538 $3,220.00
3/5/2001 NGC VF 30   Teletrade Auction 1413, 1413/Lot# 1725 $2,268.25
6/17/2010 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers The June 2010 Baltimore Auction, 41/Lot# 3846 $46,000.00
8/11/2011 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7649 $28,750.00
1/9/2013 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1181/Lot# 5933 $64,625.00
9/25/2013 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1189/Lot# 6862 $58,750.00
1/8/2014 NGC MS 60   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1201/Lot# 5527 $146,875.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 O $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base10361146126513931969269934764064601168707875842812008194053157351689533685508856848586496049362378
1072118513071585221229583672471362977205805996211447323461382785224853941556745744859263611210
000000367247136297720580599621144732346138278522485394155674574485926300
0000003868536265837540824310814169392751744983528085451456261580485987800
1861 O $20 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11001214133914722072282836324239624471278159872712397199583236652830545375628458072599026177463689
1138125513831672232430963834490765387471834899501491724094391875339955119568805868260526624120
000000383449076538747183489950149172409439187533995511956880586826052600
0000004036557568327815853711173174372823046008539685570157476592926115000
Registry Image Gallery

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