Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 1,042,500
Catalog: KM-A74.1
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1090.86 (8/27/2015)
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1865 S $20 MS obverse 1865 S $20 MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

When the Brother Jonathan smashed against a large rock and sank on July 30, 1865 off the coast of Crescent City, California, it was not only gold coins that were lost. That may be all that we remember today, but 219 people also slipped beneath the waves. General George Wright, who was to assume his new post at Fort Vancouver, Anson Henry, governor of the Washington Territory, eight prostitutes (or 'soiled doves' in the vernacular of the day), were among the more colorful passengers that lost there lives that fateful day. Additionally, $300,000-$500,000 in cargo went down, 346 barrels of whiskey, $200,000 in payroll for U.S. troops at Fort Vancouver, and more than $100,000 in jewelry and cash in the purser's safe. Many of the gold bars carried on the steamship were recovered between 1916 and the early 1930s. But only in the past few years have high grade double eagles been recovered and entered the numismatic marketplace.

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.

1865 S $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 1825 1900 1950 2300 2600 3050 3450 4000 5400 10000 14500 19000 25750 35000 60000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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: 1303
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
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
9/10/2002 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #22093, 22093/Lot# 16155 $494.50
2/11/2007 NGC MS 62   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 2523 $5,520.00
4/21/2008 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 240, 246/Lot# 1210 $1,265.00
9/9/2009 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2009 September Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1129, 1129/Lot# 1788 $20,700.00
12/3/2009 PCGS AU 50   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 17760/Lot# 1282 $1,872.00
7/24/2011 NGC MS 60   Teletrade Auction 3106, 3106/Lot# 2456 $3,335.00
1/9/2013 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(6), 1181/Lot# 7497 $25,850.00
6/29/2014 PCGS AU 53   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 202538 $3,500.00
2/6/2015 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers 2015 Americana Auction, 6070/Lot# 2624 $18,800.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1865 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base190723522401243326432807295830333216344739524591515860076685755589961551122360327504869673432
205523682412250326982857298330943293361541654780544162336975803511168177942582338065569410
00000029833094329336154165478054416233697580351116817794258233806500
00000030083155337037844378496957246459726585161333920077292874338100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 3952
Owner: ftrifilio5
 
Grade: AU 50
Points: 3033
Owner: G & R coins
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Certifies Newly-Retrieved Gold

11/1/2003  — Thirty-eight gold double eagles of the San Francisco Mint have been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation as having come from the final dive on Brother Jonathan, a steamship lost to the sea in 1865.
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