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: $1694.63 (9/26/2021)
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: 9/24/2021

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

1861 S $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1820 1820 2150 2400 2850 3250 3500 4200 6000 14750 20000 30000 60000 - - - - - - -
$ - - - - 8000 - - 38500 - - - - - -

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: 896
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 63

The chart showing F series, 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: 9/21/2021 1861 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---1387615910317217714571251-------896
-----------------------
---------11-----------2
-----------------------
Total---1387615910317217814671251-------898
 ---0%4%8%18%11%19%20%16%1%1%1%0%------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 S $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base243324332433255526992936305131263238352541416048682079601022610735112631191212589132941429015340
243324332474260327782974307631633334373047776305720087151039610911114791213812824136261464016107
0000003076316333343730477763057200871510396109111147912138128241362600
0000003101320134293936541265637580947110565110871169612363130591395800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4777
Owner: Grandman
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4141
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.