Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 17,741
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4400g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1782.46 (1/19/2021)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
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1861 O $20 MS obverse 1861 O $20 MS reverse
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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: 11/3/2020

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

1861 O $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 7000 8000 10000 25000 50000 57500 60000 72500 98500 300000 400000 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 113
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 61

The chart showing VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 1/19/2021 1861 O $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----1312202117101442---------113
---------11-----------2
-------1--------------1
-----------------------
Total----1312202217111542---------116
 ----11%10%17%19%15%9%13%3%2%--------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 O $20 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11001214133914722072282836324239624471278159872712397199583236652830545375628458072599026177463689
11381255138316722324309638344907653874718348995014917240943918753399551195688058682605266241266873
000000383449076538747183489950149172409439187533995511956880586826052600
0000004036557568327815853711173174372823046008539685570157476592926115000
1861 O $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3817429045654935665186869234103721062611246121781434715488194053157351689533685508856848586496049362378
3975438246885507732988699613104571083311557129011472716794234613827852249539415567557448592646112165497
00000096131045710833115571290114727167942346138278522495394155675574485926400
00000099931054111039118671362415108180992751744984528085451556261580495987800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 60
Points: 14347
Owner: Andy Nguyen
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.