P. Scott Rubin: The 1882 Double Eagle is one of the rarest coins in the Liberty Head series. In fact, only the 1861 Paquet Reverse struck in Philadelphia is rarer, with only two known. Curiously, the 1882 circulation strike Double Eagle appears to be as rare as the 1882 Proofs.
Among the Double Eagle circulation from 1881 to 1887, the 1882 has the least number of auction appearances and the lowest mintage, with only 571 reported struck. I am aware of only 65 auction appearances; this includes many re-appearances of the same coins, from 1936 to the present (2014). Thomas Elder’s January 22nd sale of 1936 is the first sale that contained a non-proof 1882 Double Eagle (that coin was graded fine and realized $70.00 as lot 2949).
It seems that rarity is not the only thing that makes the 1882 Double Eagle noteworthy. This issue contains no known high grade Mint State examples. While NGC has graded one as MS62, PCGS’ highest grade is MS61. It is possible that the MS62 coin is one of the same coins the PCGS graded MS61.
The coin considered the finest to appear at auction is from the Dallas Bank Collection (H. Jeff Browning specimen) sold in October, 2001 by Sotheby’s and Stack’s as lot 88. It then was sold in Stack’s March, 2002 auction as lot 1197, where it was stated that the coin was originally part of the Amon Carter, Sr. Collection, and was traded to Mr. Browning by Amon Carter, Jr. before it appeared in the Dallas Bank Collection.David Akers (1975/88): As a business strike, the 1882 is the second rarest Liberty Head Double Eagle after the excessively rare 1861 Paquet, more rare than the 1856-O, 1854-O or 1870-CC. Most of the business strikes grade EF (all known specimens are prooflike) and I have seen only two in AU. There is also one known unc and that coin is really something. By the most conservative grading standards it is a true Gem Unc-65 or possibly even a bit better. It is part of a complete collection of Double Eagles in the care of a prominent Dallas bank.
H. Jeff Browning "Dallas Bank Collection" - Sotheby's/Stack's 10/2001:88, $86,250
Dr. Barry Southerland Collection - Kutasi Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3204, $138,000
Heritage 2/2001:7224 - Heritage 1/2003:9045 - Heritage 4/2015:5448, $111,625