Estimated grade. TRANSITIONAL REGULAR 1877 DIES OBVERSE/TRANSITIONAL REGULAR TWENTY DOLLARS DIES REVERSE.
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. The regular die of 1877. Similar to J-1488 except for a very slight difference in the position of the date and word LIBERTY. Reverse. The regular die adopted in 1877. Similar to J-1488 except that the denomination is spelled out TWENTY DOLLARS. The scrolls on either side of the eagle's shield are also of a different shape and E PLURIBUS UNUM is substantially larger than on J-1488.
Comments: The June, 1909 Numismatist article that first announced this unique double eagle pattern to collectors concluded by stating: "1876 being the Centennial year there is a reason why experimental dies should have been made to bring our coinage to greater perfection, and surprising though it is to have unpublished varieties brought to the attention of the numismatist at this late date, yet the denomination and the year offer something in explanation. Not only our coin of highest value, but the type: what modern coin is more beautiful than the lately discarded type of the twenty dollar gold piece in brilliant proof condition? An effort to make our largest value and most beautiful coin a little nearer perfection in the Centennial year is a very natural conclusion." (p. 174)
This pattern is the last of the transitional double eagles (there are five transitional pieces out of the total of eleven pattern double eagles), and shortly before the Numismatist article was published, Haseltine sold it to William Woodin for $1000.00. From Woodin's collection it passed to Waldo Newcomer and then to King Farouk. The New Netherlands Coin Company of New York purchased the coin from the Farouk sale for 292 Egyptian pounds or approximately $838.00 and Dr. Wilkison obtained it from Charles Wormser of New Netherlands shortly thereafter for $2000.00 The piece is now owned by Paramount International Coin Corporation.
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