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: $1443.03 (10/19/2019)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

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: 8/16/2019

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

1861 S $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1800 1880 1930 2000 2700 3200 3300 5000 5500 14500 19400 29000 60500 - - - - - - -
$ - - - - 8250 - - 38500 - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 888
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: 10/8/2019 1861 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----377615710217117714181351-------888
-----------------------
---------11-----------2
-----------------------
Total----377615710217117814281351-------890
 ----4 %9 %18 %11 %19 %20 %16 %1 %1 %1 %0 %------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/17/1997 NGC XF 40   Teletrade Auction 0920, 920/Lot# 1816 $474.75
5/28/2003 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2003 May Long Beach Signature Sale #324, 324/Lot# 6821 $4,025.00
12/20/2007 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 205, 211/Lot# 8133 $2,723.20
2/10/2008 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 2544 $5,405.00
7/7/2011 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2011 July Orlando Summer FUN Signature US Coin Auction Session(3), 1157/Lot# 5013 $2,645.00
6/15/2014 NGC AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/15/2014, 196/Lot# 196845 $5,794.80
6/27/2014 PCGS AU 55   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 2631 $8,225.00
8/8/2014 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3494, 6045/Lot# 21469 $4,876.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 $20 MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1886233523852417258528073080328134864016469462097077833895881203817936270994147664243100600103345
203623522396247326592898314733493663424251996498749787551040514004209903189149065763621015150
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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