David Akers (1975/88): The 1856 is a very elusive date, generally obtainable only in VF or EF condition. In AU it is very scarce and in unciculated 60 or better it is rare. Locating a choice or gem quality unc would be a very difficult task indeed and I have seen only a couple at those levels. As is the case with a number of the $20 issues from the mid-1850's, particularly the S-Mints, "saltwater uncs" are occasionally available (cf1974 ANA). Among Type I Double Eagles from the Philadelphia Mint, the 1856 is comparable in overall rarity to the 1855, 1857, 1858, 1863 and 1864 although it is a little easier to locate in Unc. than the latter four dates, particularly the 1863 and 1864 which are all but unobtainable in mint state.
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