1869 PR65 double eagle headlines at Heritage Auctions

An 1869 $20 PR65 ultra cameo double eagle led a sale of US coins at Heritage Auctions with a final bid of $229,125. 

The sale ran between January 29 and February 1 in Long Beach, California.

1869 double eagle
The 1869 double eagle proof is one of only a handful remaining

The coin is one of 25 proofs minted in 1869, of which only a handful remain. Collectors in previous years were less enamoured of double eagles, meaning many were melted down. 

This has ensured their enduring appeal today. 

Heritage explained the appeal of the present lot prior to the sale: "The present coin is a delightful Gem, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements and startling field/device contrast.

"We can find no previous auction appearances for this coin and believe it has been off the market for decades…it may be many years before a comparable specimen becomes available."

An MS64-graded 1920-S double eagle also sold well, realising $99,875.

The lot is described as "a premier rarity in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series".

It was produced in a run of 558,000 pieces, most of which ended up in governmental vaults and thence to the smelter following Roosevelt's gold recall in 1933. 

Between eight and 12 pieces are thought to exist.

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