ONE OF THE NICEST 1861-O DOUBLE EAGLES I HAVE EVER OFFERED
Housed in an old green label holder and appreciably undergraded by today’s standards; in my opinion, this coin grades at least AU55 if not AU58.
The 1861-O has the greatest multiple level of demand of any double eagle from this mint. It appeals to the Type One specialist, the Civil War collector and the New Orleans gold aficionado. There were 17,741 produced and around 150-175 exist. Of these maybe three dozen are known in AU but probably 75% of these (if not more) have been cleaned and/or processed and have poor eye appeal as a result. Examples with natural color and choice surfaces are very rare and only a few truly attractive 1861-O double eagles exist.
This is an exceptional coin with rich natural yellow and green-gold colors accentuated by deeper hues on the relief details. While there are some scuffs on the surfaces, none are detracting and the depth of the color hides the majority of them. The strike is very sharp centrally and weak on the obverse stars which is characteristic of the issue. The eye appeal of this piece is absolutely off the charts and I can only recall having seen one or two other truly original About Uncirculated examples. In fact, I will go out on a limb and call this coin the single most cosmetically appealing 1861-O double eagle to come on the market for many years.
A number of interesting auction sales have occurred in the past few years. A decent PCGS AU50 brought $51,406 as Stacks Bowers 3/15: 2593 while an average quality PCGS AU53 without a CAC sticker realized $58,750 as Heritage 1/14: 5525. The last two AU55 examples to sell, both of which were very underwhelming in my opinion, sold for $76,350 (for an NGC coin) and $70,500 (for a PCGS coin); these sales both occurred in 2014.
I have many clients who have been searching for years for the right 1861-O double eagle for their collection. For one lucky collector, the right 1861-O hasfinally become available.
CAC has approved two in this grade with four finer (one in 55 and two in 58).