1864-S $20.00 PCGS MS62

Before the discovery of a small number of Uncirculated examples in the S.S. Brother Johnathan and S.S. Republic shipwrecks, the 1864-S was nearly impossible to find above AU55 to AU58 grades. It remains rare in MS62 and it is very rare above this with just a small number (four or five) known in MS63. This example is likely from the "Bro Jo" although it is not indicated as such on the holder by PCGS. It has very slightly granular surfaces but they are not dull or "etched" like many of the coins from these wrecks. Both the obverse and the reverse show lovely rich natural orange-gold color with the reverse deeper and more even in hue than the obverse. There are a few light marks in the obverse fields that limit the grade. However, this is one of the cleanest and most dynamic-appearing examples of this date that I can recall having seen. Since February 2006, there have been five auction appearances for the date in PCGS MS62 with the prices realized ranging from a low of $14,950 to a high of $18,975. A PCGS MS63, if available, would certainly be a $30,000+ coin. For most collectors of Type One double eagles or Civil War gold, this 1864-S is "as good as it gets!"