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1852 Double Eagle

1852 Double Eagle
1852 Double Eagle
PCGS No: 8906
Circulation strikes Mintage: 2,053,026
Proofs: Unknown
Designer: James Barton Longacre
Diameter: ±34 millimeters
Metal content: Gold - 90%
Other - 10%
Weight: ±516 grains (±33.4 grams)
Edge: Reeded
Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia) below the eagle's tail on the reverse.


The mintage of double eagles continued in large numbers at the Philadelphia Mint in 1853. The date is one of the more common Type 1 double eagles. The treasure of the S.S. Central America contained nearly 30 coins of the date, and the S.S. Republic held nearly 100 examples. Only about a dozen in those two groups are of Mint State quality. An NGC MS-62 coin from the S.S. Republic sold in 2005 for $10,925 at auction. One of the finest-known examples of the date was auctioned by the authors in the 1985 sale of the Jasper Robinson Collection. The coin was cataloged as gem Uncirculated (65/56) and realized $20,000. This was before the discovery of the S.S. Central America.
Key to Collecting: As the mintage of over two million pieces might suggest, the 1852 is plentiful today. Most are in grades such as VF and EF, with occasional examples in AU coming on the market, punctuated at longer intervals by Mint State corns. Among the latter are a few choice and gem pieces.
Die Data: 1852 four-digit date logotype with numerals 185 evenly spaced; top and bottom openings of 8 about the same size; 5 with upright slanting, italic 5, with upright of 5, if extended below, passing to left of knob (dif-fetent from the 5 used on 1850 ana 1851, which is only slightly slanting), knob close to upright, touching on deep impressions; 2 distant from 5, especially at bottom, ornate with curled top with knob, curled base; bottom of 2 slighty below bottom of other digits. Used on all dies for both mints. Various logotype positions and depth of impressions, deep impressions into the working die yielding "heavy" dates with the numerals seemingly closer together, the ball of the 5 (1852) touching the upright. One die has the logotype very light, giving the numerals wider spacing than usual. Sometimes the differences in logotype depth are dramatic, seemingly indicating the use of different logotype punches, but all seen have been from the same punch. The variations on such themes are virtually endless among double eagles of this era.
Doubled Date: Breen-7152. On the obverse the date numerals were given one blow of the four-digit logotype, then another, with the second blow being about 5% below the first. The result is a sharply doubled date, more so toward the end of the string of numerals, indicating a slight rotation between blows. This is one of the most dramatically doubled dates of its era. Usually repunching is delicate.
Dr. Jasper L. Robertson Collection (Mid-American, May 1985) Lot 1629: "1852 Gem Uncirculated (65/65). A sensational example of this date. Both sides exhibit full mint bloom, and are layered by rich, coppery -golden toning. Boldly struck, with surfaces that are nearly devoid of marks (rarely seen on coins of this denomination). Type One double eagles are among the rarest of all United States Type coins in Gem condition. Even average Uncirculated example are seldom seen. The present coin is one of our personal favorites from the Dr. Jasper L. Robertson collection, and it is certain!}- one of the condition highlights of this sale." Realized 520,000.
Gold Rush Treasure from the S.S. Central America (Christie's, catalogued by QDB, December 2000) Lot 81: "1852 AU-58 (PGCS).... Date logotype niceiy impressed, somewhat low, top of 1 twice the distance from truncation as bottom is from dentils, left edge of lower serif over space between dentils. A faint reverse die crack connects the tops of F AMERIC." Realized $3,350. Another: Lot 82; "1852 AU-58 (PCGS).... Date logotype lightly impressed, centrally located between truncation and dentils but shghtlv left, left edge of lower serif over center of dentil. Raised horizontal die lines connect the fifth star to the den¬tils above. Crossbar of A in STATES broken at center, the leftmost piece very faint. Three die cracks are noted. The first runs from the dentils above M, connecting AMERICA at the tops. The second crack arcs from the dentils below Y in TWENTY to the bottom of the D in the denomination, then back to the dentils below the period that follows. The third crack connects the bottom of TWENTY." Realized $5,750.

Number of Appearances: 221 (50%)
High Grade Condition Points: 123

Auction Records:
(41) Unc: Paramount 9/81; Stack's 9/81; Auction '81; Stack's 12/80; Auction'80; New England 4/80; Ivy 12/79; Auction '79 (3); Stack's 2/79; ANA 1977; RARCOA 5/77; ANA 1976; AAA 6/76; Paramount 11/75; Pine Tree 6/75; RARCOA 4/75; Stack's 11/11/74; AAA 11/74; Scanlon 1973; Stack's 6/73; Paramount 5/73; Stack's 6/72; Alto 1970; DiBello 1970; Merkin 4/70; Stack's 1/70; Miles 1968; Kreisberg Cohen 6/68; Paramount 10/65; Ward 1964; Walton 1963(2); Wolfson 1962; Holmes 1960; MC 1948; Lee 1947; WGC 1946; Bell 1944; Roach 1944

(41) AU: Paramount 9/81. 11/80; Stack's 2/80. 12/79, 10/79; ANA 1979 (2); Stack's 6/79: New England 3/79 (2); Ivy 2/79; Superior 1/79. 10/78; Ivy 7/78; New England 5/78; Kagin's 5/78; Hughes 2/78; Pine Tree 1/78; Paramount 11/77; New England 7/77; Stack's 3/77; AAA 6/76. 5/76; Pine Tree 6/75; Stack's 4/30/75, 2/75; ANA 1974; Stack's 6/74; Paramount 5/74; Pine Tree 3/74(2); Paramount 2/74; Stack's 2/72(2); Paramount 5/70, 11/69; Stack's 1/69; ANA 1965; Bell 1963; Holmes 1960; Melish 1956

(73) EF: Stack's 6/81; B&R 6/81; Stack's 3/81; Paramount 11/80; Kagin's 9/80; NASCA 4/80 (2); Stack's 2 80; New England 1/80; Kagin's 12/79; Stack's 12/79 (2); NASCA 10/79 (2), 5/79; Kagin's 4/79; B&R 2/79; Superior 1/79; Stack's 10/78; Kagin's 9/78; ANA 1978; Kagin's 7/78; Stack's 6/78; Superior 6/78; Kagin's 5/78; Stack's 5/78; B&R 4/78; Pine Tree 1/78; Kagin's 10/77; B&R 10/77; Stack's 9/77, 6/77, 2/77; New England 12/76; ANA 1976; Stack's 4/ 76; AAA 2/76, 12/75; Pine Tree G.E.N.A. 1975 (2); ANA 1975; Paramount 5/75; Beck 1975; Stack's 11/12/74; Superior 10/74; Stack's 9/74; ANA 1974; Stack's 2/74; AAA 11/73; Paramount 5/73; Stack's 2/73: Superior 12/72; AAA 11/72; Paramount 11/72; Stack's 6/72; Shapero 1971; Kreisberg, Cohen 9/71; ANA 1971 (2); RARCOA 5/71; Stack's 4/71, 10/70, 6/70; ANA 1969; Stack's 3/69, 5/68, 6/67, 3/67; ANA 1966; Stack's 9/65; Cicero 1960; Holmes I960; Atwater 1946

(59) VF: Coin Galleries 9/81; NASCA 7/81, 4/81; Paramount 11/80: Kreisberg 9/80; Auction '80; Coin Galleries 6/80; Stack's 3/80; Superior 1/80 (3); B&R 1/80; Pine Tree 6/78; Stack's 2/78, 4/77; AAA 9/75; ANA 1975; Pine Tree 4/75; GENA 1974; ANA 1974: Paramount 2/74; Stack's 2/74; Gilhousen 1973(2); Stack's 12/72,9/72; AAA 5 72;RARCOA2 72; Paramount 2/71; Kreisberg/ Cohen 11/70; Stack's 9/70; Paramount 2/70; Harmer, Rooke 11/69; Kreisberg, Cohen 6/68; Shuford 1968; Paramount 10/67; Kreisberg 9/'67; Stack's 4/67 (2); Paramount 4/67, 11/66; Kreisberg 10/66; Stack's 10/66; Bolt 1966; Kosoff 10/65; Stack's 2/65; Paramount 2/65; Ward 1964; Golden 1963, 1962; Cicero 1960; Melish 1956: Baldenhofer 1955 (2); Farouk 1954; Davis/ Graves 1954; Menjou 1950; Olsen 1944; Flanagan 1944

(7) Fine: Stack's 12/77; Kreisberg Cohen 11/70; Kreisberg 4/67; Stack's 3/67, 6/66; Kreisberg 6/65; Kern 1950

The 1852 double eagle is a "common date" by Type I Double Eagle standards. (Of course, the term "common date" is a very relative one and "common" by Type 1 standards is clearly not the same thing as "common" by Type III standards.) Overall, the 1852 is similar in rarity to the 1850, 1851 and 1853 although it is definitely moreoften obtainable in Unc. than eitherthe 1850 or the 1853. Uncs are very scarce and gem quality specimens are rare. Most 1852 Double Eagles are frosty and fully prooflike pieces are very rare. Very few cataloguers mention the fact, but the 1852 comes with both a thin date and a thick date. On the thin date, the vertical bar of the 5 does not reach the ball ("open"1 5) while on the thick date, the vertical bar goes down beyond the top of the ball ("closed" 5). There is little difference in the rarity of these two major varieties and thus no premium is attached to one over the other. No proofs are reported for 1852.

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


1852 Double Eagle

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

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