||The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money
||The Finest Known 1861 Liberty Double Eagle
1861 Liberty Double Eagle. MS-67 (PCGS). CAC. OGH.
Offered is one of the most stunning and incredible circulation strike gold coins imaginable. Although the 1861 issue has a plentiful mintage of 2,976,453 pieces, only a tiny percentage survive today, virtually all showing various degrees of circulation. This coin is the finest 1861 double eagle of them all today. It shows incredible mint luster that swirls over the obverse and reverse. The surfaces are as close to perfect as one could imagine, with little more than a couple of tiny scuffs and nicks. The usual greenish-gold color blends with classic orange or straw-gold shades. Housed in an old green label PCGS holder, this is a most memorable example of this date and mint. PCGS notes in their Population Reportonly four examples of this date in Gem MS-65 condition, with no other Gems besides this coin. Thus it is the finest by twograde points. Furthermore, this sole coin stood alone as the finest known not only of the date but of the entire Type -- until the recovery of the coins from the shipwrecks of the S.S. Central America,S.S. Brother Jonathan,and S.S. Republic.For the Type I double eagles the finest PCGS-certified coins are a dozen that grade MS-67, 11 of these are dated 1857-S and are all from the S.S. Central Americashipwreck. The only other Type I double eagle that has earned the Superb grade is this coin, which had to survive on its own devices, and not with the help of a century and a half deep in Davy Jones' Locker!
Back in 1989, when this same coin came into the office at Superior, the numismatists and owners passed it around and were awed by its incredible quality. Certification was still relatively new at that time, but it was clear that this particular coin was extraordinary. When this monumental 1861 double eagle returned to the Superior office in 1991, even Walter Breen, who happened to be there working on the Ed Trompeter Collection, was impressed with its quality. Breen by that time had seen many of the double eagles that had just been recovered from the S.S. Central Americaand he shared just how incredible this unbelievable find was, not only in quantity, but in quality. Now that the dust has settled, it is noteworthy that this 1861 is still the very finest of its date and mint, and tied with the best and finest of the shipwreck coins.
Provenance: From Superior's Jascha Heifetz Collection, October, 1989, lot 5039; Superior's sale of An Amazing Collection, May 1991, lot 1464; and Heritage's ANA Auction of August 1995, lot 7947.
PCGS Population: 1; none finer.