Coin Specifications

Category: Twenty Cents (1875-1878)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,260
Catalog: KM-109
Obverse Designer: William Barber
Reverse Designer: William Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 5.0000g
ASW: 0.1447oz
Melt Value: $3.01 (7/24/2014)
Diameter: 22mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1876 20C PF obverse 1876 20C PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Of the odd denomination minor coinage issues of the United States, the twenty cent piece is by far the shortest-lived series. Business strikes and proofs were coined in 1875 and 1876, with a combined total of less than 1000 proof-only issues struck for collectors in 1877 and 1878. Its downfall was directly tied to public confusion between the new twenty cent design and the quarter dollar. Several pattern proposals of the new denomination were issued in 1874 and 1875 but the Treasury preferred uniformity of design within a series of coins of a single metal (Breen, 1988).

The pattern most similar to the circulating quarter of that time, known by modern day collectors as Judd-1411, was the design chosen by Mint Director Henry Linderman. The obverse is similar to Gobrecht's Seated Liberty motif and the reverse only differs slightly in the design of the eagle, which was borrowed from Barber's Trade dollar. Given the fact that the diameter of the twenty cent piece is only 2.3 mm smaller than the quarter of the same generation, it is easy to see how one could become befuddled when encountering a twenty cent in the course of commerce. The Treasury must have anticipated the likelihood of confusion as the twenty cent piece is the only silver coin, with the lone exception of the three cent piece, ever issued for circulation by the U.S. government with a plain edge. Unfortunately, the elimination of an edge device was not enough of a difference and the new denomination quickly fell out of favor with the public. The twenty cent denomination, which, ironically, was rejected by Congress in 1806 for similar reasons, had to be eliminated. According to Breen in his Complete Encyclopedia, 'A bill to repeal the Mint's authority to manufacture these coins was introduced in July 1876, finally becoming law May 2, 1878. Coins on hand in all mints had to be melted down, by order of Mint Director Linderman, May 1, 1878, for recoinage into other denominations.?

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: 10/1/2013

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

1876 20C PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - 775 800 850 950 1175 1475 2000 3200 5000 9650 18350 52500 75000 - -
$ - 810 835 900 1050 1275 1600 2200 3500 5500 10750 20500 57500 -
1876 20C PF Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 1250 1525 2175 3400 5500 10800 24500 - - - -
$ - - - - - 1350 1675 2375 3750 6000 12000 28000 - -
1876 20C PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6000 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 6500 - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 289
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/15/2003 PCGS PF 62   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 312 $1,437.50
11/4/2004 NGC PF 68   Heritage Auctions 2004 November Palm Beach, FL Signature Sale #358, 358/Lot# 6464 $32,200.00
10/9/2005 NGC PF 61   Teletrade Auction 2102, 2102/Lot# 1267 $1,092.00
6/11/2009 NGC PF 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 383, 389/Lot# 8004 $2,300.00
2/28/2012 NGC PF 63   Cameo Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 2171 $2,702.50
10/18/2012 PCGS PF 65   Heritage Auctions 2012 October 18-21 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(2), 1175/Lot# 4090 $6,756.25
4/20/2014 PCGS PF 61   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/20/2014, 186/Lot# 188109 $1,106.60


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1876 20C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base721232013144716848339641081115512561321150516582154284946175158805899183647065895
8914923836654273387610031105118812771382155618232385343847976124867818768462780
0000008761003110511881277138215561823238534384797612486781876800
0000009201042113012221299144316071988261740274977709192982761900
1876 20C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base81135220339507731886102411461223133013971589174922632984481053678347102553790168457
9916325939558178293210641171125813521461164219202503359249956360898319470480860
0000009321064117112581352146116421920250335924995636089831947000
0000009781105119712941374152516952091274342015181735396192868500
1876 20C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base94159255389575820988113712691351146615391744191624653231516157478873108674050973125
115191299451656876103711811296138914901607180120992720387453566789953720747513810
00000010371181129613891490160718012099272038745356678995372074700
000000108712251323142715141675185822822975451755517831102023062800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 68
Points: 9918
Owner: GOrr
 
Grade: PF 66 Cameo
Points: 5367
Owner: Aurora Borealis Collection
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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