1857-S $20.00 NGC AU58 CAC

Back before the discovery of the S.S. Central America, the 1857-S double eagle was actually a scarce coin and this piece, with its obvious non-seawater surfaces, represents what would have been just about the best available quality for the date way back when. To my eyes, this is a fully Uncirculated coin with superb natural orange-gold color and bold, unbroken luster. There are light, uniform scuffs on both the obverse and the reverse but this piece is exceptional for the grade. It is interesting to note that many inferior SSCA AU examples of the 1857-S sell for a premium over the far more rare pieces with natural surfaces.

CAC has approved six in this grade with 36 finer. It is impossible to break these numbers down into SSCA and non-SSCA totals.

1857 $20.00 NGC AU55

While not as scarce or as undervalued as the 1855 and 1856 double eagles, the 1857 is a tough issue in its own right. This piece has the luster and body of an AU58 but just a few too many small ticks on the surfaces to properly grade as such. The color, a light green with underlying flashes of rose, is very appealing. A good value for the Type One specialist.