San Francisco Double Eagles on Display in All Three Type Sets
By Brian Zweig
The famous California Gold Rush of 1849 prompted the construction of one of the most prominent and well-known mints in the United States—the San Francisco Mint. The rush’s impact was felt around the country and sent gold pouring into circulation. In fact, it was because of the Gold Rush that California became a state in 1850! In response to this discovery, the U.S. Mint embarked on construction of the San Francisco Mint in an effort to create gold coinage from this new supply. And one coin in particular stood out above the rest…
History and Rarity of the San Francisco Double Eagle
Perhaps one of the most widely popular coins struck in the San Francisco Mint is the classic Liberty Head Double Eagle. From its grand opening in 1854 all the way through 1907, the Mint struck these immensely popular Liberty Head Double Eagles. With the exception of just two issues (the 1861-S Paquet and the 1866-S “No Motto”), all of these issues can be purchased in above average condition for less than $10,000.
Three types of Liberty Head Double Eagles are known, and they were produced by the San Francisco Mint in the following years:
- Type One: 1854 through 1866 (14 issues)
- Type Two: 1866 through 1876 (12 issues)
- Type Three: 1877 through 1885, 1887 through 1907 (30 issues)
Thousands of the Type One San Francisco Double Eagles available today were recovered from shipwrecks over a decade after they were lost to the sea. The Type One issue is different from later versions, as it does not feature the “In God We Trust” motto, which was introduced for the Type Two Double Eagle in 1866. In 1877, the Type Three issue introduced the new “Twenty Dollars” inscription, as opposed to the “Twenty D.” inscription that was seen on the Type One and Type Two versions.
As a rule, Type One and Type Two issues are most readily seen in Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated grades and are usually rare to very rare in Uncirculated. Type Three issues are more often available in the lower Uncirculated grades (MS60 to MS62) and tend to be scarce in MS63 and above.
It is our belief that these issues are extremely undervalued when compared to their cohorts from Carson City. The San Francisco issues are every bit as historic and, in some cases, are every bit as scarce… at a fraction of the cost.
Our Expert Uncovers an Uncommon Sample of Double Eagles
Our rare coin expert recently acquired an impressive partial date set of San Francisco Double Eagles, and we’re giving ASI readers a chance to get their hands on these coins before anyone else! Every coin (except one) has been CAC-approved, and each is characterized by choice, original surfaces and lovely natural coloration.
These coins are really truly remarkable and would make for a great start to an impressive collection of these massive and highly attractive 19th century gold issues. Because they're so difficult to locate, we only have one of each coin available. Once we sell out of a date, you'll have to wait until it becomes available to the market again. And as an added bonus, we'll offer you FREE shipping if you purchase two or more of these coins! Below is the selection we currently have available for you.
Type One Coins
|1855-S $20 NGC
|This is the second year of issue for this design and the first readily-collectable year. This piece
has exceptional color and very choice surfaces.
|1856-S $20 NGC
|This formerly scarce issue saw its numbers inflated by shipwreck findings. This example is not
from a shipwreck, as evidenced by its smooth, non-matte surfaces.
|1857-S $20 NGC
|Thousands of 1857-S Double Eagles were located on the S.S. Central America, but this piece
is not from that source. Although this piece is well-worn, it features excellent surfaces with rich
|1863-S $20 PCGS
|This issue is highly popular due to its Civil War issuance and is not easily located finer than the
present example. It is particularly notable for its pleasing color and unmarked surfaces.
|1864-S $20 NGC
|This is an uncommonly affordable example of this popular Civil War issue. While well-worn, it
has a smooth, original, and natural appearance.
Type Two Coins
|1866-S (“With Motto”)
$20 PCGS EF40 CAC
|The 1866-S “With Motto” Double Eagle is numismatically significant as the first-year-of-issue
for the new Type Two design. It is incredibly rare in higher grades, and this nice EF40 example
is extremely high-end for the grade.
|1867-S $20 PCGS
|The 1867-S Double Eagle is one of the more difficult Type Two issues from this Mint to locate
in higher grades. This piece is very choice with remarkable color and unabraded surfaces.
|1868-S $20 PCGS
|Like the 1867-S Double Eagle, the 1868-S Double Eagle becomes much more challenging to
locate above the middle About Uncirculated grades. This choice AU50 Double Eagle looks
great to the naked eye and has a lovely rich, natural coloration.
|1870-S $20 PCGS
|This is an uncommonly nice example for the grade with overly deep, rich color that attests to
|1874-S $20 NGC
|This is an obtainable Type Two date; however, it is still dozens of times rarer than a common
1873 Open 3 Double Eagle.
|1876-S $20 PCGS
|This is a perfect “type” coin for the collector who wants a single high-grade example of this
Type Three Coins
|1878-S $20 PCGS
|This second-year issue (the new Type Three design began in 1877) is almost impossible to
locate in grades above MS62. This “slider” is much more visually appealing than many graded
MS60 or even MS61.
|1879-S $20 PCGS
|A strong case can be made for naming this issue the single rarest Type Three $20 Double Eagle
from San Francisco. This spiffy “slider” has incredible color and naturally lustrous surfaces.
No Portfolio Is Complete Without These San Francisco Coins
San Francisco gold Liberty Head Double Eagles are perhaps some of the most popular coins issued by the U.S. Mint, and our rare coin expert is giving ASI readers an exclusive first look at these incredible coins! To add these exceedingly beautiful and scarce U.S. gold coins to your portfolio today, please call us at 800-831-0007 or email us.
*Prices subject to change based on market fluctuation and product availability. Prices reflected are for cash, check, or bank wire. Free shipping, handling, and insurance are available with the purchase of any two of these coins. Offer expires Friday, February 2, 2018, or while supplies last.