Even wear, no major detracting marks, most likely from California Gold Rush gold.
David Akers (1975/88): The 1851 is one of the most common of all Type I Double Eagles, roughly comparable overall to the 1850, 1852 and 1853 but more rare than the 1861 which ranks as the most common date of the type. Although most available specimens typically grade VF or EF, high grade examples can be obtained fairly easily. Mint state pieces are very scarce but 15 or so years ago (PCGS CoinFacts editor's note: this was written in 1982), it was not unusual to recieve uncs regularly from Europe. Admittedly they have become widely dispersed over the years but they are still out there in the hands of collectors, dealers and investors. Of course, gem quality uncs are rare and although occasionally seen, were never available in any quantity.
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