Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 768,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4400g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1723.37 (11/30/2020)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
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1861 S $20 MS obverse 1861 S $20 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The first 19,250 double eagles coined in San Francisco early in 1861 had the special Paquet Reverse design. Once word was received to discontinue using that special reverse die, another 768,000 coins were minted with the normal Longacre reverse design. At the time they were struck, there were few if any collectors in San Francisco to preserve those coins, and virtually the entire mintage quietly slipped into the channels of commerce. The small number of Mint State coins known today, including the present example, survived purely as a matter of chance. For a denomination of such high value as a twenty dollar gold coin, the chance of survival is diminished further because of the significant face value of the coin. It was a lot of money at the time, and few could afford to have any similar pieces preserved for the future.

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: 11/30/2020

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

1861 S $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1845 1845 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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: 895
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 63

The chart showing VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 11/24/2020 1861 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----377615810317217914371451-------895
-----------------------
---------11-----------2
-----------------------
Total----377615810317218014471451-------897
 ----4%8%18%11%19%20%16%1%2%1%0%------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1886233523852417258528073080328134864016469462097077833895881203817936270994147664243100600103345
20362352239624732659289831473349366342425199649874978755104051400420990318914906576362101515108512
0000003147334936634242519964987497875510405140042099031891490657636200
0000003214341838394468570467887918917111221159702404536684566548848100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 5199
Owner: Grandman
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4694
Owner: Hugh Stiel Rare Coins
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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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.