Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 351,200
Catalog: KM-A74.1
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1119.01 (10/10/2015)
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1865 $20 MS obverse 1865 $20 MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

At the tail end of the Civil War, few gold coins were struck, and most were immediately hoarded and melted. The mintage of this issue was 351,175 coins, and the survival rate is quite small in any Mint State grade, let alone Gem quality. This was the year of two shipwrecks, both important in numismatic circles. On July 30, 1865, the S.S. Brother Jonathan sank off the coast of Crescent City, California, in the far northern part of that state. Although many searches for the ship and its treasure took place, it was not until the 1990s that a successful recovery took place. Deep Seat Research, Inc. located the treasure, and recovered over 1,200 gold coins, mostly 1865-S Double Eagles in Mint State condition. There were also two 1865 Double Eagles from the Philadelphia Mint. About three months later, the S.S. Republic sank of the coast of Georgia, the result of a hurricane. This ship was finally located in July 2003 by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. By January 2004, over 17,000 coins had been recovered along with several hundred other artifacts.

A 2002 reference by Douglas Winter and Adam Crum summarized the important of this issue, and of this coin: 'The 1865 double eagle is a relatively scarce date, although not nearly as much so as the 1862, 1863, and 1864. It is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is scarce in the lower About Uncirculated grades and very scarce in properly graded About Uncirculated-55 to About Uncirculated-58. It is very rare in Uncirculated and there are just two or three currently known that grade higher than Mint State-62.'

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


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/13/2015

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

1865 $20 MS
Base $ 1800 1875 1925 2250 2650 3250 3750 4750 6900 12500 17750 25000 35000 90000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - 20000 29000 - - - - -

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.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 751
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/1/2015 MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1225/Lot# 3619
11/1/2015 MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1225/Lot# 3618
11/1/2015 AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1225/Lot# 5250

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/18/2004 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2004 August Pittsburgh, PA Signature Sale #352, 352/Lot# 7571 $12,650.00
11/19/2006 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 2288, 2288/Lot# 2997 $1,344.00
4/2/2007 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Spring Collectors Choice Sale', 137/Lot# 954 $920.00
5/27/2007 NGC AU 55   Goldberg May 27-30, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 41/Lot# 1703 $1,783.00
5/13/2012 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/13/2012, 22/Lot# 51157 $2,311.10
1/8/2014 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1201/Lot# 5533 $13,512.50
8/8/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3494, 6045/Lot# 21066 $44.65

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1865 $20 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4403
Owner: davidmckay
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4403
Owner: Grandman
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

Summer FUN Is A Strategic Opportunity; Early Type Gets Boost

7/11/2013  — "It's A Buyer's Market For Sure" - Strong Demand Targets $20 Libs & Saints
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer