SOLD – $20.00 – 1885 PCGS AU58

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SOLD – $20.00 – 1885 PCGS AU58


Serial Number 9003.58/50161345

PCGS Lookup Number 9003

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The 1882 is one of only two regular issue circulation strike Liberty Head double eagle with a mintage of fewer than 1,000. Along with the 1881, 1882, 1886, and 1891 it is one of the Big Five in the popular Type Three double eagle series. There are an estimated four to five dozen known with most in the lower About Uncirculated grades. The finest known is a lovely PCGS MS63 in the Crawford collection.

Unlike the majority of AU58 1885 double eagles offered for sale in recent years, the present piece isn’t recolored or peppered with abrasions. It shows no real wear; just a small amount of friction on the high spots which is amplified by the fully reflective fields. The color is a pleasing natural medium orange-gold and there are just a few minor scuffs seen on the obverse and the reverse. The eye appeal is excellent for the date and grade.

PCGS has a current population of 12 in AU58 with another 8 finer; these figures seem inflated on account of resubmissions. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a retail valuation of $65,000 for this date in AU58.

Only one PCGS AU58 example of the 1885 double eagle has crossed the auction block since the beginning of 2010. Heritage 1/14: 5555 sold for $58,750 and, as I recall, the color on both sides was artificial. Heritage also sold a PCGS AU55 for $52,875 as Lot 5731 in their 8/14 auction. Auction records of over $40,000 are known for AU58’s dating all the way back to 2006.

After years of neglect, the truly rare Type Three double eagles are finally getting the collector acclaim they deserve. Despite strong prices for issues such as the 1885, this date still seems undervalued to me when compared to the higher mintage, less rare Type One issues from New Orleans. This is the first 1885 double eagle I’ve handled in close to three years and it is a pleasure to be able to once again handle such a genuinely rare coin from such a popular series.