1869-S $10.00 PCGS VF35 CAC

If a coin graded VF35 could be called a "gem" this would be it as the appearance is extremely pleasing. The obverse and reverse have an almost cameo-like look with the green-gold devices contrasted by deep russet hues at the borders. Unlike most San Francisco eagles from this era, the surfaces are remarkably clean and PCGS was pretty tough on this coin as it certainly seems to have as much detail as many other comparable coins from this era that I have seen in EF40 holders. Only 6,430 examples were made and there are probably fewer than 100 known in all grades. This coin is a wonderfully affordable combination of true rarity and great appearance.

CAC has approved just this one example in VF35 with two approved in grades higher than this.

From the RYK Collection.

1869-S $20.00 NGC EF45 CAC

Housed in an older NGC third generation holder and graded sometime in the late 1980's. By today's standards, I grade this coin AU50 to AU53. Clean and problem-free with a significant amount of luster showing on the obverse and the reverse.While not really a scarce date, the 1869-S double eagle is tougher to find with good eye appeal than many collectors realize.

CAC has approved three examples in this grade and twenty finer than this.

1869-S $5.00 PCGS EF40 CAC

Despite a comparably high original mintage of 31,000, the 1869-S is a scarce issue in all grades. It fits squarely in the category of "formerly-unpopular-but-suddenly in-favor" as with many P+S issues from the 1850's, 1860's and 1870's. This example is attractive and solid for the grade with nice orange-gold color atop reasonably clean and choice surfaces; the reverse is a full 45 on its own. The last PCGS EF40 example of this issue to sell at auction was Heritage 4/06: 2774 which sold for $2,070. This is pone of just two examples of this date with CAC approval in this grade with just one finer.

From the RYK "Dirty Gold" collection

1869-S $2.50 NGC MS61

This is a nice, fully "new" example of a date that is seldom found in higher grades. I doubt if more than ten to fifteen are known in Uncirculated with most in the MS60 to MS62 range. The nicest thing about this coin is its color with a band of rich reddish-gold at the obverse border and outlining the details on the reverse. A few small marks limit the grade but this piece is really attractive. The SF quarter eagles from this era are very undervalued and offer the collector with a challenging but not overly expensive area.