1856 $20.00 NGC EF45 CAC

Along with the 1855, the 1856 is one of my favorite "sleeper" dates in the Type One double eagle series. It is still not priced at a huge premium over a common issue like the 1851 or 1852 but, as even a cursory glimpse at population figures will show, it is many times scarcer than these dates. This example is choice and original with rich, even orange-gold color that is accentuated by some deeper colors at the left obverse and correspoding reverse.

This is one of two approved by CAC in this grade with eleven finer.

1856 $20.00 NGC AU53 CAC

Housed in an older NGC holder and graded many years ago; by today's standards I think this coin is closer to AU55 than it is to AU53. The 1856 is my favorite affordable "sleeper" Type One issue. It is scarce in the lower AU grades, very scarce in properly graded AU58 and rare in Uncirculated. This nicely toned example is original and very clean for the issue with pleasing green-gold and orange hues. There is a decent amount of luster seen on both sides and good detail at the centers. Great value at less than $4,000!

CAC has approved four 1856 double eagles in AU53 with only six finer.

1856 $2.50 PCGS MS65

In my opinion, Gem quality small denomination gold from the 1850's is one of the more undervalued areas of American numismatics. It is not exactly plentiful but on the few occasions when a coin like an MS65 1856 quarter eagle is available, prices seem very reasonable to me. This is among the nicer examples of this date that I have seen or owned with glowing frosty luster covered with a touch of light rose color. There are no marks of note on the surfaces, the strike is excellent and there is a "freshness" about this coin that would be hard to improve upon. My best guess is that there are no more than a half dozen real Gem 1856 quarter eagles known and the last to sell was Heritage 12/09: 1540 which brought $7,475.

1856 $5.00 PCGS MS61 CAC

While very common in all circulated grades, the 1856 half eagle is not at all common in Uncirculated and nearly impossible above the MS62 to MS63 level. This lovely, fresh example has great eye appeal for the grade and looks more like a coin in an MS62 holder. The surfaces are very clean and show attractive golden-orange color. This piece has never been dipped or brightened and this can be established by the fact that there is a natural copper spot on the reverse at the first T in STATES. What appears to be a scratch on the cheek of Liberty is actually a mint-made raised die line that I have seen on a number of other examples of this date. Only three PCGS MS61's of this date have appeared at auction since May 2007. This is one of only two MS61 1856 half eagles approved by PCGS with one finer. A wonderful No Motto type coin.

1856 $20.00 NGC AU55 CAC

The 1856 is one of my very favorite Type One double eagles and I think it is highly undervalued, especially in the higher AU grades. This clean, attractive example has a nice "Euro" appearance with even deep green-gold hues that cover minimally abraded and still-lustrous surfaces. While really a tough issue to find in this grade, the 1856 is doubly tough with natural color and surfaces. A very pleasing coin for the date and grade and one of the better values in the entire Type One series.

1856 $20.00 PCGS EF45

The 1856 is one of my favorite sleeper Type One double eagles. In the EF grades, it sells for virtually no premium over a common date like the 1861 yet it is dozens of times more scarcer. This is a pleasing, wholesome example with nice even light green-gold color atop lightly abraded surfaces that retain some luster. There are two tiny reeding marks in the lower left obverse field that do not detract. A great value for the savvy double eagle collector on a limited budget.