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1860-O Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle NGC MS61

2023-09-27 18:02:00
1860-O Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle NGC MS61

1860-O Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle NGC MS61

Jack McNamara's Live Auction Featured Coin

Thursday, September 28th, 2023


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Our Private Advisory Coin Team has early access to our weekly auction coins. Pre-bidding is now open for this week's stunning selections. Call our Private Advisory Coin team at (800) 778-0624 to join our auction bidding. Your Personal Advisor can accept your confidential bid for this coin.


  • Mintage: 6,600
  • NGC Population: 3/0
  • PCGS Population: 1/0
  • CU Price Guide: $225,000
  • Finest Known: MS61 (4) – One has not sold in over half a decade, last realizing approx. $170,000
  • New Orleans’ geographical advantage of being located at the mouth of the Mississippi River made it one of the most important and instrumental cities during early America.
  • Within the first two decades leading up to the 1860s, the commercial port city of New Orleans and its local branch mint firmly established itself as a major hub for both domestic and international commerce.
  • The sheer volume of gold and silver specie produced at the New Orleans branch mint during this period helped reaffirm faith and confidence in the federal government of the United States.
  • Although, a crucial component to the backbone of the U.S. economy, the New Orleans Mint was not immune to the growing tensions between the industrial North and agrarian South.
  • On January 27, 1861, the State of Louisiana formally seceded from the Union joining South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.
  • Production ceased that year only to formally resume nearly two decades later in 1879, well after the Civil War concluded.
  • Although operations concluded entirely in 1909, twenty-dollar double eagles were only struck at the New Orleans Mint between 1850-1861 and one final time in 1879.
  • Despite there being only 13 different double eagle dates containing the “O” mint mark, few collectors throughout history have managed to build a complete collection of New Orleans Double Eagles.
  • Every single double eagle issue was struck in small quantities. In fact, no U.S. Mint facility minted fewer Liberty Head Double Eagles than the New Orleans Mint, including the Carson City Mint.

  • While it is true the New Orleans Mint witnessed a suspension of production between 1862 and 1878, all things considered this is practically a non-factor.
  • Even when isolating double eagle production to only the years in which the New Orleans Mint struck twenty-dollar gold double eagles, the results are convincingly in favor of the southern branch mint.

  • As seen in the chart above, from combining all twenty-dollar gold pieces struck from 1850 to 1861 and 1879, the New Orleans Mint minted 8.5 times fewer double eagles than the San Francisco Mint and 15 times fewer than the Philadelphia Mint!
  • The survival rate in Uncirculated condition amongst O-Mint $20s is utterly miniscule. From the tiny number of Mint State survivors only a single example exists above MS63 condition.
  • For this reason, acquiring any O-Mint $20 in MS61 or higher is not just an exceptionally challenging feat but also likely to cost any collector a minimum of $50,000 even for the most attainable O-Mint $20 dates. See Price Guides below:

  • The 1860-O $20 however, is not one of the more accessible dates in Mint State conditional as it is a tremendous rarity in all grades.
  • From a population perspective, the 1860-O is closely comparable to the 1855-O $20 & 1861-O $20 in Mint State condition.
  • Despite the 1861-O $20 technically consisting of more Mint State examples at 7 coins versus 6 for the 1860-O $20, the 1861-O $20 is a more desired issue due to it being the final Type 1 O-Mint $20 and only Civil War date.
  • As such collectors are more than willing to pay a premium. Even in MS60 condition with 5 coins in the grade and 2 finer, the 1860-O $20 is expected to cost roughly $400,000!
  • Similar to the 1861-O $20 the 1879-O $20 is another widely popular issue that contains more Uncirculated examples than the 1860-O $20 with a total of 14 coins certified in Mint State.
  • In MS61 condition the population for the 1879-O $20 is 3 coins in the grade and 3 finer, however the established Price Guide is the same as the 1860-O $20. Furthermore, earlier this year an 1879-O $20 MS61 traded privately for nearly $250,000.
  • To own the finest known of any Liberty Head Double Eagle is a badge of honor few collectors have the privilege of wearing but to possess a finest known New Orleans Double Eagle puts one in an exclusive class of legendary collectors.