Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 59
Catalog: KM-74.1
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1177.54 (9/19/2014)
Diameter: 34mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1860 $20 PF obverse 1860 $20 PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Proof Liberty Head double eagles of any date are rare, especially in high grade, and a proof double eagle of the 1860s vintage, as the present coin, is exponentially rarer still. 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items, Colonials, foreign coins, and/or the 'old coppers,' the large cents and half cents that had been only recently withdrawn from circulation.

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. Dr. Robert Loewinger reports that proof double eagles dated before 1858 are all but nonexistent:

'There was at least one Proof made in 1850 in Philadelphia, and also a brilliant Proof made in 1854 at the San Francisco Mint. No Proofs were made from 1851-1853 and from 1855-1857. The city of Bremen, Germany Proof set likely contained an 1854 double eagle. Proofs were made during the years 1858-65.'

In 1860, few indeed were the collectors 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.

The proof mintage of the 1860 double eagle is recorded as 59 pieces. The proof coins 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. Despite the original mintage figure, Breen writes in his Proof Encyclopedia:

'Gold proof sets. All the gold proofs were delivered April 5. At least 30 were sold in sets, some of the lower denominations as individual coins, the remainder unsold being melted in January 1862 per R.W. Julian. There are not now 30 proofs extant of any of the higher denominations.'

Regarding the 1860 double eagle proof in particular, Breen opines that 'probably less than 10 survive in all.' We would be unsurprised to learn that the total is actually smaller still.

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: 5/28/2014

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

1860 $20 PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 47500 56500 72500 120000 285000 390000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1860 $20 PF Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - 135000 300000 - 480000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1860 $20 PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 375000 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 9
Low Grade: 64
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/22/1999 PCGS Proof 63   Heritage Auctions Milwaukee (CSNS) #200, 200/Lot# 6259 $54,625.00
2/11/2000 NGC Proof 64   Heritage Auctions 2000 February Long Beach Sale #222, 222/Lot# 6883 $71,300.00
8/18/2004 PCGS Proof 64   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2004 August Pittsburgh, PA Signature Sale #352, 352/Lot# 7683 $132,250.00
1/5/2011 NGC Proof 64   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(3), 1151/Lot# 5276 $230,000.00
4/27/2011 NGC Proof 64   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(3), 1154/Lot# 5492 $230,000.00
8/5/2014 NGC Proof 66   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1208/Lot# 5741 $367,187.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1860 $20 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111136394565556360897077796094151152914751156031635322902288621
11111111213394748975738641873718445101191260315035158531853624888288620
0000001121339474897573864187371844510119126031503515853185362488800
0000001242642565230591367477665893010824136771531916103207192687500
1860 $20 PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111111113902487659226473743184289756121781582617296229052943311
1111111130142265224610567927763887010563133941631619165250812943310
0000001130142265224610567927763887010563133941631619165250812943300
0000001260145515573628971118095931311370146101680621035272572943300
1860 $20 PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11111111389148645908645774941102261311216842195371111
11111111297421552126091680274943409111881435517740195371110
00000011297421552126091680274943409111881435517740195371100
00000012594453955606274714874946817121501559818638195371100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 64 CA
Points: 11197
Owner: SLUGGO
 
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