1863 $20.00 NGC AU55 CAC

The 1863 is the second rarest Type One double eagle from Philadelphia (and, no, I'm not counting the 1849 or the 1861 Paquet reverse...) trailing only the 1862. It is not often seen in any grade and when it is available it tends to come with heavy wear, heavy abrasions and poor eye appeal. This example is among the best 1863 double eagles that I have handled in the last few years. It is very lustrous and it shows light wear that is limited to the high spots. There is some natural coppery-red toning below even green-gold and pale orange highlights and the surfaces are free of the deep, detracting abrasions that characterize this issue. I purchased this coin from an "upgrader" who thought it would wind-up in an AU58 holder and, honestly, I think he's being overly optimistic. If you collect Type One double eagles or specialize in Civil war gold, you know how hard it is to find nice, lightly circulated examples of this date.