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1852-O Double Eagle

1852-O Double Eagle
1852-O Double Eagle
PCGS No: 8907
Circulation strikes Mintage: 190,000
Proofs: None
Designer: James Barton Longacre
Diameter: ±34 millimeters
Metal content: Gold - 90%
Other - 10%
Weight: ±516 grains (±33.4 grams)
Edge: Reeded
Mintmark: "O" (for New Orleans, Louisiana) below the eagle's tail on the reverse.


Like the 1851-O double eagle, the 1852-O double eagle issue is readily available in circulated condition. Most of the coins seen are Very Fine or Extremely Fine. About Uncirculated examples make their way to auction with surprising frequency. The issue becomes much rarer in the higher states of preservation. There are fewer than two dozen examples that have been certified as Mint State. There were 20 examples in the S.S. Republic hoard, of which only one is Mint State. Many of the high-grade examples for the date display partially prooflike surfaces. The finest example seen by the authors has been the Dallas Bank Collection specimen, which sold uncertified in 2001 for $26,450. The authors' auction catalog notes indicated that the coin graded MS-63. It has been reported that an MS-61 example sold privately in 2004 for $25,000.
Key to Collecting: The 1852-O twenty, while scarce overall, is one of the more readily available New Orleans Mint issues. After this year the double eagles from this mint range from very scarce to very rare. Most known 1852-Os are VF to EF, a familiar mantra for all double eagles of this decade except for some notable hoard coins (mainly from the San Francisco Mint). Uncirculated coins exist, mostly at the lower end of the spectrum, some likely to be evaluated as high-end AU pieces by some observers. Perhaps the finest known is the choice (MS-63) Dallas Bank Collection coin described below.
Aspects of Striking: High grade coins are nearly always prooflike, from polishing of the dies in the New Orleans .Mint workshop. Sometimes lightly struck at the obverse center and at the stars, but more often quite sharp. Due to multiple die pairs and press runs, no single rule is applicable to all. Some have somewhat beveled rims, as made.
Die Data: Standard four-digit logotype punch for this year. 6 obverse and 4 reverse dies were shipped from Philadelphia to New Orleans. As reverse dies tended to crack more easily than obverse dies, this might indicate that some reverses were still on hand from the 9 sent to New Orleans in 1851. Following this logic, it would thus indicate that in 1851, when 9 obverse dies were sent, many if not most obverses remained unused thus yielding a usable supply of serviceable reverses to be carried over to the present year (1852). Logotype and mintmark positional differences exist.
Gold Rush Treasure from the S.S. Central America (Christie's, catalogued by QDB, December 2000) Lot 83: "1852-O AU-58 (PCGS).... This is the single finest example among five from die S.S. Central America treasure graded by PCGS. Date logotype firmly impressed and centrally located both horizontally and vertically, left edge of lower serif over space between dentils. From the same reverse die as the 1851-O double eagle offered above." Realized $9,200.
Dallas Bank Collection (Sotheby's / Stack's, October 2001) Lot 6: "1852-O Choice Brilliant Uncirculated. A glorious coin, undoubtedly the finest known: The Akers plate coin of which he wrote, 'the finest O .Mint $20 I have ever seen was an S852-O, a real gem that is now in a prominent Dallas bank collection.' Rich color with smooth, virtually blemish-free, satiny surfaces and splendid lustrous cartwheels in die fields. Sharplv struck in the centers, with all design details full, including the arrow feath¬ers on the reverse, while Liberty's features are well frosted." Realized $26,450.

Number of Appearances: 136 (31%)
High Grade Condition Points: 45

Auction Records:
(10) Unc: Stack's 9/81; Auction '81, Auction '80; Beck 1975; Stack's 11/12/74; Merkin 10/73, 10/69; Holmes 1960; Bell 1944; Dunham 1941

(25) AU: Superior 1/80; Ivy 12/79; New England 4/78, 11/77; ANA 1977; Stack's 6/77; ANA 1976; Paramount 7/76; Stack's 4/76; GENA 1975; Pine Tree 6/75; Stack's 4/30/75; Paramount 11/74; Superior 10/74; Paramount 5/73; Stack's 6/72; ANA 1971; Stack's 4/71; DiBello 1970; Stack's 1/70; Miles 1968; Ward 1964; Walton 1963; Kern 1950; Roach 1944

(56) EF: Stack's 3/81; Auction '80; Stack's 3/80, 2/80; Superior 1/80; Hughes 1/80; Superior 10/79; Stack's 9/79; Auction '79; Ivy 7/79; Stack's 6/79, 2/79; B&R 2/79; Superior 6/78; Paramount 11/77; Ivy 10/77; Paramount 7/77 (2); B&R 2/77; Paramount 2/77; NASCA 12/76; ANA 1976; Paramount 5/76, 2/76 (2), 11/75; ANA 1975; AAA 6/75 (2); Paramount 5/75; RARCOA 4/75; Pine Tree 2/75; Superior 10/74; ANA 1974; Paramount 5/74, 2/74; Scanlon 1973; Stack's 6/73; Gilhousen 1973; Paramount 11/72; Kreisberg/Cohen 9/71; ANA 1971; Superior 3/71; Stack's 6/70; ANA 1969; Stack's 3/69; Paramount 2/69; Shuford 1968; Stack's 5/68, 4/67; Paramount 10/66; Kosoff 10/65; Paramount 2/65; Bell 1963; Smith 1955; MC 1948

(40) VF: Superior 1/80; NASCA 10/79: Stack's 6/79; Ivy 2/79; Kreisberg/Cohen 10/78; Stack's 9/77; Paramount 4/77, 2/77, 1/77, 2/76; New England 11/75; Paramount 11/75, 11/74, 5/71, 2/71; Kreisberg/Cohen 11/70; Merkin 6/70; ANA 1968; Stack's 6/67; Paramount 4/67, 2/67, 11/66; Stack's 10/66; Paramount 5/66; Bolt 1966; Paramount 3/66; Kreisberg 11/ 65, 6/65; Stack's 2/65; ANA 1964; Wolfson 1962; Golden 1962; ANA 1960; Melish 1956: Baldenhofer 1955; Farouk 1954; Menjou 1950; Lee 1947; Atwater 1946; WGC 1946

(5) Fine: Peters 4/76; Alto 1970; Paramount 10/ 67, 10/65; ANA 1956

The 1852-O Double Eagle is the second most common O-Mint Double Eagle after the 1851-O. However, it just might be the most common of the 13 O-Mint issues in full mint state. At least I have seen more uncs of this date than I have of any other, including the 185l-O, and it is also the case that the finest O-Mint $20 I have ever seen was an 1852-O, a real gem that is now in a prominent Dallas bank collection. Still, true uncs of this date must necessarily be considered rare and the quality one is most likely to find is VF or EF. As is the case with all the Type I O-Mint twenties, most 1852-O's are semi-prooflike or prooflike.

See 1852-O Double Eagle for sale. Click here!

Courtesy Akers: United States Gold Coins - An Analysis of Auction Records
Courtesy Bowers: A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins


1852-O Double Eagle
- 1852-O $20

US Rare Coin Investments 2003 - 2015 U.S. Rare Coin Investments

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