Made for collectors, worth over $150,000: the 1860 double eagle coin
Highly graded $20 Liberty Head double coins are always valuable - but this piece is particularly special
Historic gold coins intended for circulation can bring big sums at auction. But how about proof gold coins that were made especially for collectors?
Among the earliest examples selling from the Henry Miller Collection of rare gold coins at Heritage Auction Galleries on January 5-8 is this 1860 double eagle.
The coin has been graded PR64 by the NGC with CAC sticker and $20 PR64 NGC CAC Proof Liberty Head double eagles of any date are rare, especially in high grade.
But this proof double eagle of the 1860s vintage is even rarer still. What's more, the year 1860 was only three years after the first great wave of coin collecting arose in America.
Most members of the burgeoning collector community were pursuing either Washington items, Colonials, foreign coins, or the "old coppers" (the large cents and half cents that had been only recently withdrawn from circulation).
The Liberty Head double eagle design was developed in 1849 and launched commercially in 1850 in response to the great wave of newly mined gold from the West.Today, proof double eagles dated before 1858 are understood to be all but nonexistent.
In 1860, few collectors were interested in assembling modern-era gold coins - and fewer still were the number interested in obtaining (and preserving) a proof double eagle over a Mint State business strike.
The year 1860 was also only the third year that the Mint publicly marketed proof coins to collectors. Today, the proof mintage of the 1860 double eagle is recorded as 59 pieces.
They were manufactured with frosted devices against deeply mirrored fields - a prized attribute among collectors today and one that is responsible for the existence of wonderful borderline Cameo examples such as this PR64 specimen (pictured).
Also considering the fact that two examples of this coin are off the market - presumably forever - in museum collections, this 1860 double eagle will undoubtedly be among the big highlights in Heritage's sale.
Online bids currently stand at $150,000 with Buyer's Premium. Watch this space for mroe news on Heritage's sale.
- Click here to view our current rare coins for sale
- Learn how you can get pleasure and profit from historic and collectible coins
- Read all the latest Coins and Banknotes news
Recent and related aticles...
Bonhams' sale will be led by an Alexander II gold coin which could easily bring $100,000
· 'World's finest' Morgan dollar sells for $121,643 in Heritage coins auction | 6 December 2010
The sale attracted numismatists from around the world with a selection of notable and rare coins
· Ancient, English and Foreign coins shatter their pre-sale estimates at Spink | 3 December 2010
Collectors and investors gathered in London to see a number of coins exceed all expectations, this week
· Multi-coloured Lebanese banknote could float to $93,300 in London |2 December 2010
The auctioneer has announced a second day of selling collectible currency next week
· Early coin from China's first-ever modern mint is estimated at $60,000| 30 November 2010
An historic piece of Chinese numismatic history is auctioning in Hong Kong