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1858 Double Eagle

1858 Double Eagle

1858 Double Eagle or $20 Gold

PCGS No: 8923
Circulation strikes Mintage: 211,714
Proofs: Estimated 10
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, PA) below the eagle's tail on the reverse.


The 1858 double eagle is a condition rarity. Low-grade examples are scarce but can be found without too much difficulty. Most of the coins offered at auction are graded AU-55 or AU-58. A small number of examples were found on the 5.5. Republic, three of which are on the low end of the Mint State scale. A few have been certified as MS-63, but these are very rare and in great demand. One of the finest known examples sold at public auction in recent years is the Harry W. Bass Jr. specimen that had been certified as MS-63 by PCGS. The coin sold for $29,900 in the 2000 sale of his estate. The Smithsonian lacks a circulation-strike example of the 1858 double eagle. Early collectors preferred Proof examples of Philadelphia coinage.

Key to Collecting: In circulated grades from VF to EF the 1858 is scarce, but enough are around that even a nice AU can be obtained with a bit of patience. Mint State coins are very elusive and are mostly in the lower numerical designations.

Aspects of Striking:
Mostly well struck. Surfaces range from lustrous to partially prooflike.

Die Data: 1858 four-digit date logotype with 18 closer than the spacing for other figures. Lower left serif of 1 slightly longer than lower right sent; top interior of 8's slightly smaller than bottom interior; upright of 5 slants slightly to right; 2nd 8 slightly low and leans slightly right. Used on all dies for all mints. Multiple die pairs were used and thus varieties exist. Misplaced Date: One variety has a misplaced date, with the curved top of an 8 hidden in the dentils below the 5."

Number of Appearances: 86 (19%)
High Grade Condition Points: 39
Average Grade: EF-40

Auction Records:

(2) Proof: MC 1948; WGC 1946

(10) Unc: Stack's 9/81; New England 7/78; ANA 1976; RARCOA 5/73; Stack's 2/73, 10/70; DiBello 1970; Miles 1968; Bell 1963; Atwater 1946

(19) AU: Stack's 12/81; New England 1/80; Stack's 6/79; New England 3/79; Ivy 2/79; Stack's 2/79; New England 11/78, 7/77; ANA 1976 (2); Gilhousen 1973; Stack's 2/72; Kreisberg/Cohen 9/71; ANA 1969; Stack's 3/69, 5/68; Bolt 1966; Stack's 2/65; Holmes 1960

(35) EF: Stack's 12/81; Coin Galleries 9/81; Stack's 2/80, 12/79; Kreisberg/Cohen 10/79; Stack's 9/79 (2); Superior 10/78; Kagin's 9/78; Stack's 6/78, 6/77; Kreisberg/Cohen 2/15-16/77; Ivy 12/76; ANA 1975; RARCOA 4/75; Superior 2/75; Paramount 11/74; Superior 10/74; ANA 1974; Pine Tree 3/74; Scanlon 1973; Stack's 12/72; RARCOA 2/72; ANA 1971; Stack's 4/71, 6/70; Paramount 11/69; Shuford 1968; Paramount 10/67, 4/67, 11/66; Kosoff 10/65; Baldenhofer 1955; Bell 1944; Roach 1944

(17) VF: Stack's 3/80, 4/30/75; Kreisberg/Cohen 11/70; Paramount 11/68; Stack's 6/67, 4/67; Kreisberg 4/67; Paramount 2/67, 10/66; Stack's 10/66; Walton 1963; Wolfson 1962; Golden 1962; Farouk 1954; Menjou 1950; Lee 1947; Hall 1945

(3) Fine: Kreisberg/Cohen 11/70; Paramount 11/68; Melish 1956

The 1858 Double Eagle is very scarce and desirable in all grades. In terms of overall rarity it is roughly comparable to the 1855, 1856, 1857, 1863 and 1864 among Type I P-Mint issues. Most known specimens grade from VF to AU and strictly uncirculated examples are rare. Choice or gem quality uncs are very rare but not unknown; I have seen several of each quality. This is the first date of which proofs were definitely made for collectors. Three proofs exist, two of which are impounded in the Smithsonian and ANS collections respectively. {The proof in the Smithsonian is photographed above.) The third is the Memorable — World's Greatest Collection specimen listed in the following auction records. It earlier appeared in the famous Parmelee sale of 1890.


Washington, D.C., Apr. 6. President Buehanan. in demanding thai Mormons obey federal law. accuses ihem of "levying war againsl the United Stales" (—June 26).
Rosalia, Washington, May 17. U.S. soldiers suffer a humiliating dcfeal by Nez Perce and Spokan Indians.
Titusville, Pennsylvania, May. Colonel H.L. Drake begins drilling for oil. using technique of drivine iron pipe into well (-Aug. 28. 1859).
Memphis, Tennessee, June 13. Steamship Pennsylvania explodes on Mississippi River. killing 160 people.
Springfield, Illinois, June 16. Republican Abraham Lincoln, upon receiving Senate nomina¬tion, proclaims. "A house divided against itself cannot stand" (—Oct. 15).
Utah Territory. June 26. Colonel Johnslon's federal Iroops march into Salt Lake City, finding it mostly empty as Mormons move south.
New York City, July 20. Admission charged to baseball game for first time; New York All-Slars defeat Brooklyn.
Kansas Territory Aug. 2. State constitution rejected in popular vole. 11.812 to 1.926: Kansas fails to gain admission to union (-Jan. 29. 1861).
Massachusetts, Oct. 16. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow publishes The Courtship of Miles Siamlish. narrative poem about romance among Pilgrims.
New York City. In his popular The I'nwi'lfotm'ti Child' or the Crime of an Undesigned and l!ndesired Maternity. H.C. Wright openly examines birth control.
Washington, D.C. Lewis Mill issued patent for a lawn mowing machine.
Washington, D.C. Charles Weslcy March receives patent lor bundling harvester.
New York City. Steel pens are placed on the market.
New York City. Ladies Christian Association [YWCA] founded.
Haddonfield, New Jersey. First dinosaur skeleton excavated in L'nited Stales.
Brooklyn, New York. Edward R. Squibb founds pharmaceutical company.

See Double Eagle Gold Coins 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

1858 Double Eagle - Type 1 Double Eagles - Type I P-Mint

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

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