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: $1097.92 (8/30/2015)
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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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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: 6/8/2015

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

1861 O $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 6500 7500 9000 18750 38000 62500 67000 79000 100000 210000 - - - - - - - - -
$ 49000 - - - - - - - - - - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 111
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 50
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
7/26/1994 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 1994 ANA Bullet Sale #121, 121/Lot# 799 $4,290.00
1/10/2000 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1257, 1257/Lot# 2049 $2,532.00
1/9/2013 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1181/Lot# 5932 $47,000.00
1/8/2014 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1201/Lot# 5525 $58,750.00
4/13/2014 PCGS AU 53   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/13/2014, 181/Lot# 186761 $52,251.10
3/26/2015 PCGS AU 50   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Baltimore, 6065/Lot# 2593 $51,406.25
5/20/2015 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The Rarities Sale, 6109/Lot# 83 $38,187.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 O $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3817429045654935665186869234103721062611246121781434715488194053157351689533685508856848586496049362378
397543824688550773298869961310457108331155712901147271679423461382785224953941556755744859264611210
00000096131045710833115571290114727167942346138278522495394155675574485926400
00000099931054111039118671362415108180992751744984528085451556261580495987800
1861 O $20 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11001214133914722072282836324239624471278159872712397199583236652830545375628458072599026177463689
1138125513831672232430963834490765387471834899501491724094391875339955119568805868260526624120
000000383449076538747183489950149172409439187533995511956880586826052600
0000004036557568327815853711173174372823046008539685570157476592926115000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 60
Points: 14347
Owner: Lafitte Coin Company
 
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