Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 190,000
Catalog: KM-74.1
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.44g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1279.04 (8/27/2016)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1852 O $20 MS obverse 1852 O $20 MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

A generous mintage of 190,000 Liberty Head double eagles was achieved at the New Orleans Mint in 1852, due to the influx of gold from the California gold fields. The New Orleans facility benefited immensely from the flow of Western gold in the years before the establishment of the San Francisco Mint. Treasury records indicate more than $4.5 million in gold bullion was received from California for coining purposes in 1850, and the flood continued through 1853. At least $2 million worth of the precious metal was received every year until 1854--when the San Francisco Mint opened--and New Orleans gold deposits dropped to a trickle. Production totals followed suit, and the mintage of O-mint double eagles after 1853 was never more than a fraction of the totals accomplished in the earlier years.

The importance of New Orleans as a center of far-reaching commerce before the Civil War can be demonstrated by the distribution of New Orleans double eagles. While gold coins of the other Southern mints tended to circulate in the regional economy, New Orleans issues have been discovered at all points of the compass. Two 1852-O double eagles were found in the Baltimore Hoard in 1934, along with many other New Orleans gold coins. A total of 20 examples of the 1852-O were recovered from the wreck of the S.S. Republic, and the date has been found in European holdings down to the present day. Last summer the discovery of another New Orleans double eagle, the Bullock specimen of the 1856-O, captured the imagination of the numismatic community when it surfaced in a safe deposit box in Ohio, suggesting that New Orleans coins were used in the Mississippi-Ohio River traffic. The O-mint coins were clearly important as a medium of exchange in a wide variety of locations.

Archives research indicates that six obverse and four reverse dies were shipped to the New Orleans Mint for use in 1852, but further study shows that some reverse dies were still on hand, left over from 1851. Despite some positional differences in the placement of mintmarks and dates, Winter is only aware of a single variety for this date. The date is small and positioned centrally between the denticles and the truncation of the bust. The 5 in the date is closed, with the ball nearly touching the bottom point of the upper loop, and the upright is slanted in an italic fashion. Winter notes the reverse die is the same as the die used for the 1851-O emission, with the mintmark high in the field, centered over the N in TWENTY. On the 1852-O reverse, the A in STATES has been patched.

Because of its substantial mintage, the 1852-O is one of the more available Type One double eagles from the New Orleans Mint. Winter estimates a surviving population of 900-1100 pieces in all grades. Most examples seen are in lower circulated grades, and the issue becomes scarce in AU55 and quite rare in Mint State. Due to the availability of the 1852-O in AU, the date is always in demand from mintmark type collectors, seeking a high grade example for their collections.

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: 7/11/2016

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

1852 O $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1950 2000 2150 2600 4800 7750 10750 17750 26000 33000 45000 75000 130000 - 360000 - - - - -
$ - - 12750 20000 - - - - - - - - - -
1852 O $20 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 578
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/25/2001 NGC AU 55   Teletrade Auction 1430, 1430/Lot# 1822 $3,059.50
1/3/2006 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2006 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Auction #394, 394/Lot# 3557 $11,500.00
2/5/2006 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg February 5-8, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 34/Lot# 1297 $13,225.00
12/4/2008 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2008 December Houston, TX Signature Coin Auction #1118, 1118/Lot# 2389 $4,168.75
5/25/2014 NGC Details Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/25/2014, 183/Lot# 194219 $14,850.00
3/6/2015 PCGS AU 53   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 439 $8,812.50
11/5/2015 PCGS XF 40   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 21125 $4,406.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1852 O $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2009243324642495280737124217481754666509815388499588110471328120492325305208984062864658892091425
2150244324742599310938804417503358147057838590951007411792156852450539050627478486387283897550
000000441750335814705783859095100741179215685245053905062747848638728300
000000461752506161760586179342105611253618088285174556973404856648810200
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 45
Points: 4217
Owner: JTO
 
Grade: XF 40
Points: 3712
Owner: Grandman
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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