While this date is only the second scarcest CC eagle from the 1880's, I see nice AU examples less often than I do the 1882-CC. Only 9,925 1884-CC eagles were struck and it is quite elusive in the higher AU grades. This example is very lustrous with yellow-gold color seen on both sides. There are some small surface abrasions, consistent with the grade, in the fields. The "scratches" on the neck of Liberty are, in fact, mint-made and they are seen on all known 1884-CC eagles. The last APR for a PCGS 55 is Heritage 1/11: 7111, which sold for $4,600. Carson City eagles are currently undergoing some strong demand and it has become hard to find interesting, PCGS-graded pieces for less than $7,500.
Secure Plus. This non-shipwreck example has very clean surfaces with far fewer marks than usual for the issue. The color is original and attractive with medium orange-gold accented by rose splashes in the recessed areas. You rarely see nice circulated 1856-S double eagles with original surfaces and this example is one of the best AU55's that I have handled in a number of months.
The 1854-S is a numismatically significant coin as it is the first double eagle made at the San Francisco mint. It is also an enigmatic issue. Because of the Yankee Blade shipwreck, it is fairly available in Uncirculated but with original, non-seawater surfaces it is rare in all grades and extremely rare in AU and above. I know of just two non-shipwreck Uncirculated 1854-S double eagles (both of which have been handled by my firm) and a handful of nice AU's. The present example is one of the two or three best circulated 1854-S double eagles I have seen. It is very well struck and has nearly full satiny luster. The color, a light orange-gold hue, is lovely and the surfaces are amazingly clean for the date and grade. Around four years ago, I paid close to $10,000 for an original surface 1854-S in PCGS AU55 when Trends was around $4,500 for this issue. This coin may be even nicer and with the market finally appreciating the rarity of original 1854-S double eagles, I think it is still a good value. If you are a serious collector of Type One double eagles, I urge you to give this coin your full consideration.
This numismatically significant issue is one of the few Type One double eagles that has "cross-collector" appeal. In other words, it is an issue that a collector who is not a typical buyer of Type Ones will still want a nice 1850 due to its status as the first collectable year of issue for this denomination. This specific example is extremely pleasing for the grade with medium natural yellowish-green gold color atop satiny surfaces. The obverse is clean and quite choice; the reverse shows a few small scattered marks that limit the grade. AU55 is sort of a "sweet spot" for this issue as lower grade pieces might not have good eye appeal while higher grade pieces are very expensive.
CAC has approved ten in this grade with fifteen finer.
This fresh-to-the-market example is remarkable for the issue as it is one of the very few 1879-O eagles that I have seen which has fully original deep natural toning. The obverse and the reverse both show deep green-gold hues that change to reddish-gold in the protected areas. The fields lack the deep, copious abrasions that are virtually always seen on this issue. There are flashes of prooflike surface within the protected area and the detail is excellent. Only 1,500 examples were made and this is the second rarest With Motto eagle from this mint, trailing only the 1883-O. In AU55, the 1883-O is now a $75,000+ coin (if you can find one) and a price ratio of around 3 to 1 makes sense for the 1879-O; an issue that was long priced at this ratio but which began to lag, price-wise, when the value for the 1883-O exploded a few years ago. At the recent Philadelphia ANA show, a dealer offered me an 1879-O in NGC AU55+ with CAC approval for nearly $30,000. I like the present example more. A very important coin for the advanced specialist.
Of the 200-250 known, only a dozen or so grade Uncirculated and most are in the EF40 to AU50 range. Nice AU55’s are regarded as scarce. This is a pleasing example with good color and surfaces. There is a considerable amount of luster on the obverse and reverse and the detail is above-average for the date and grade.
CAC has approved three in this grade with nine finer.
This deeply toned example is among the few totally original 1861-S double eagles that I can recall having seen in many years. It shows rich Euro-style color with deep green-gold surfaces that are contrasted by the hues on the relief details. There is a good degree of luster below the toning and the surfaces are choice for the issue. This is probably the scarcest regular issue SF double eagle from the Civil War era and I am very fond of this coin's appearance.
In years and years of specializing in Carson City double eagles, I can't recall a time that these coins have been more popular than they are now and I forecast continued growth in this market due to a greater demand than supply. The sort of coin that people are really clamoring for now are common and slightly better dates in EF and AU with great eye appeal; exactly like this example. There is minor wear seen on both sides, no detracting marks and attractive natural light golden-orange color. In short, this is exactly the sort of CC $20 you should be buying if you are just getting interested in this historic, highly collectable series.
CAC has approved seventeen in this grade with another twenty-five finer than this.
Medium S mintmark variety. This example seems to have original surfaces and its "Euro" style appearance makes me almost certain it is not from one of the shipwrecks that are the source of many higher grade 1863-S double eagles. The strike is well above average for the date with nearly full radial lines within the obverse stars and some definition on the hair strands. This date is actually fairly tough in this grade with original surfaces and I personally like the naked-eye appearance quite a bit.
There are two mintmark varieties for this date: the Small S and the Medium S. The latter appears to be more scarce.