Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 80,150
Catalog: KM-74.2
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4360g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1191.67 (10/25/2014)
Diameter: 34mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1871 $20 MS obverse 1871 $20 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Gold coins did not circulate on the East Coast, Midwest, or South in 1871. This was because gold traded at a premium to Federal paper money, which could not be redeemed for specie. This had been the case since greenbacks were first introduced early in the Civil War, and it was not until 1878 that gold and paper money finally achieved parity. In the West, though, Federal paper money was often refused, and large payments were made in gold coin. This explains the high mintages of San Francisco double eagles relative to their Philadelphia Mint counterparts.

In 1871, gold mintages were even lower than usual. Production of gold dollars, quarter eagles, three dollar pieces, half eagles, and eagles ranged between 1,300 and 3,900 pieces. The 1871 Philadelphia double eagle mintage was only moderately higher at 80,120 pieces, likely struck for a trader to pay for imports, or simply to prevent the 30 proofs from becoming instant, prized rarities.

Despite the small mintage, there was no contemporary numismatic demand for double eagles, although gold dollars and three dollars did receive modest collector interest at the time. Most surviving 1871 twenties are in XF an AU grades. Examples with unbroken cartwheel luster and clean surfaces are great rarities.

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: 9/5/2014

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1871 $20 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 1700 1850 1950 1950 3350 4700 6000 7400 11250 20000 36000 55000 76000 - - - - - -
$ 2050 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 249
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 64


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/27/1998 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1044, 1044/Lot# 2155 $606.63
2/12/1999 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 1999 February Long Beach Sale #197, 197/Lot# 6454 $1,265.00
12/4/2006 NGC XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 116, 121/Lot# 2356 $805.00
1/7/2009 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121, 1121/Lot# 4149 $29,900.00
1/3/2011 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers The January 2011 Tampa Bay Rarities Sale, 70/Lot# 1579 $5,462.50
10/18/2012 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 October 18-21 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1175/Lot# 6213 $4,700.00
6/16/2013 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/16/2013, 79/Lot# 118834 $2,706.00
9/25/2013 NGC   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 2183 $2,300.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1871 $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base715800891990109513631621184322082417269428603639469465457651123241786226299392945952391322
743830924102511841449169519642277250927493119399053116913920814170206743063046037701220
00000016951964227725092749311939905311691392081417020674306304603700
000000176920862347260128043379434259287282107661601623486349625278000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 2694
Owner: Grandman
 
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