1854 $20 Small Date (Regular Strike)

Series: Liberty Head $20 1850-1907

PCGS MS65+

PCGS MS65+

DATE COMPARISON

DATE COMPARISON

PCGS MS62

PCGS MS62

PCGS #:
8911
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Edge:
Reeded
Diameter:
34.00 millimeters
Weight:
33.40 grams
Mintage:
757,899
Mint:
Philadelphia
Metal:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 1,964 R-4.6 28 / 44 TIE 56 / 148 TIE
60 or Better 40 R-8.7 26 / 44 TIE 44 / 148 TIE
65 or Better 2 R-9.9 2 / 44 TIE 2 / 148 TIE
Survival Estimate
All Grades 1,964
60 or Better 40
65 or Better 2
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-4.6
60 or Better R-8.7
65 or Better R-9.9
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 28 / 44 TIE
60 or Better 26 / 44 TIE
65 or Better 2 / 44 TIE
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 56 / 148 TIE
60 or Better 44 / 148 TIE
65 or Better 2 / 148 TIE

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  
	PCGS #8911 (MS) 65

AWA Collection - Hansen Collection

2 MS63 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 4/2016:13210, not sold

3 MS63 PCGS grade
3 MS62 PCGS grade

Paramount - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/2000:777, $10,350

3 MS62 PCGS grade
3 MS62 PCGS grade
7 MS62 PCGS grade
7 MS62 PCGS grade
7 MS61 PCGS grade
7 MS61 PCGS grade
 
	PCGS #8911 (MS) 65 
#1 MS65 PCGS grade

AWA Collection - Hansen Collection

#2 MS63 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 4/2016:13210, not sold

#3 MS63 PCGS grade
#3 MS62 PCGS grade

Paramount - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/2000:777, $10,350

#3 MS62 PCGS grade
#3 MS62 PCGS grade
#7 MS62 PCGS grade
#7 MS62 PCGS grade
#7 MS61 PCGS grade
#7 MS61 PCGS grade
Doug Winter: The following information is from my eBook on Type One Liberty Head Double Eagles at http://doubleeaglebook.com/

The 1854 Small Date is slightly scarcer than the 1852 and 1853 in terms of overall rarity. In higher grades, it is a significantly rarer coin. Even with the Type One market now as sophisticated as it is, few people realize how hard it is to locate an 1854 Small Date in About Uncirculated-58 and higher grades.

STRIKE: Most 1854 Small Date double eagles are well struck. The obverse shows good detail on the hair with the curls well defined and the hair at the top of the head often is individually defined. The stars may show full radial lines and the denticles are sharp. The reverse is also well struck with boldly detailed feathers and sharp stripes in the shield.

SURFACES: The surfaces are often covered with deep, detracting abrasions. Some show mint-made roughness in the planchet or other detracting problems. The collector should be able to find a clean, problem-free piece but his search may take longer than anticipated.

LUSTER: This issue shows average quality luster. Higher grade pieces may show nice mint frost with a slightly satiny texture. A few slightly prooflike pieces exist but these tend to be unattractive as a result of over-abraded fields.

COLORATION: The natural coloration for this issue ranges from medium yellow-gold to orange with rose-gold overtones. There are not many high-grade 1854 Small Date double eagles with original color, and these sell for a premium when they are offered.

EYE APPEAL: This date shows slightly below average eye appeal. The strike tends to be good and higher grade pieces may show good luster. But the typical example is found with impaired luster due to extensive marks and many have been cleaned or dipped as well.

INTERESTING VARIETIES: One very interesting variety is known:

1854/1854 Doubled Date (VP-001). Around 5% of the known 1854 Small Date double eagles show a noticeably repunched date with the original placed slightly too high and then corrected. This doubling can be seen with the naked eye and is plainest on the 854. It is scares in all grades and very rare in AU58 and above. It should comman a 10-30% premium depending on the grade of the specific coin.

PROOFS: It is believed that at least two proofs were produced, and one was included in a full Proof set made for presentation to the city of Bremen, Germany. There are a few old auction listings for Proofs but many can be discounted as to their authenticity.

HOARDS: There were 30 examples in the S.S. Republic including three in Mint State. 19 were found in the S.S. Central America treasure. There were 12 in the Baltimore Hoard.

BUYING TIPS: The collector seeking a high-grade 1854 Small Date double eagle should be willing to pay a premium price for a coin which is CAC quality.

AUCTION RECORD: The current auction record for the 1854 Small Date is $17,625 which was set by Heritage 2014 ANA: 4066. This coin was graded MS62 by PCGS.

FINEST KNOWN: This is another date where the single finest known is head and shoulders finer than the next best. The William Crawford collection contains a splendid gem graded MS65 by PCGS.

RARITY:

TOTAL KNOWN: 1500-2000+

BY GRADE:

Very Fine: 625-900
Extremely Fine: 625-800
About Uncirculated: 225-250
Uncirculated: 25-50

POPULATION FIGURES: As of the beginning of 2015, PCGS had graded five in MS60, 12 in MS61, five in MS62, two in MS63, and one in MS65 for a total of 26 in Uncirculated. NGC had graded three in MS60, 16 in MS61 and four in MS62, as well as one in MS60 and two in MS61 from the S.S. Republic, for a total of 26 in Uncirculated. These figures are inflated by resubmissions, especially in MS61 and MS62. CAC has approved one coin in MS60, and four in MS61.

PERFORMANCE SINCE 2002: In the current market, a choice About Uncirculated example (equivalent to an AU55) sells for $3,250-4,250. In 2002, the same coin would have sold for $1,250-1,500. A nice Uncirculated example (equivalent to an MS61) currently sells for $10,000-13,000. In 2002, the same coin would have sold for $6,000-7,000. This performance trails some of the other comparable Philadelphia double eagles of this era, leading me to believe that this date is currently undervalued.

COMMENTS: The 1854 Small Date remains an undervalued and overlooked date in higher grades. It is not as scarce as the 1855 and 1856 but it is much harder to locate than the 1850-1853 issues. If I were going to pick an interesting date in the Type One series to create a Year Set it would be 1854. It includes to interesting issues from Philadelphia, the extremely rare 1854-O, and the historically important 1854-S.
David Akers (1975/88): As a date, the 1854 is decidedly more rare than the 1850, 1851, 1852 and 1853. However, is it not as difficult to obtain as any of the P-Mint issues from 1855 to 1859. Most known 1854 Double Eagles grade VF or EF but AU's are also available from time to time. In mint state condition, the 1854 is definitely rare and choice and gem quality uncs are extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible to find. There are two major varieties of 1854, Large Date and Small Date. The size difference is considerable and readily noticeable. In my experience, the Large Date variety is the scarcer of the two.