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1860 Double Eagle

1860 Double Eagle
1860 Double Eagle
PCGS No: 8929, 9072
Circulation strikes: 577,670
Proofs: 59
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 population data show that the 1860 double eagle is rather plentiful in circulated condi¬tion. There was also a significant quantity found on the S.S. Republic. The ship contained nearly 100 coins, a few of which have been certified as MS-64 or MS-65. Three or four MS-64 coins have been offered at auction in the last few years. The record for the date at auction has been $41,800 for an MS-64 example that sold in 1997. This was well before the discov¬ery of the S.S. Republic. The Smithsonian examples for the issue are very modest and grade just Extremely Fine.
Key to Collecting: The I860 double eagle is plentiful in worn grades from VF to AU. Mint State examples come on the market with frequency and include pieces in the choice category. Although the Proof mintage is generous for the era, probably most were never distributed.
Aspects of Striking: Usually lustrous with satiny surfaces. Die cracks are not unusual, particularly on die reverse. Certain details less well defined than on 1850-1858 coins (see introduction to Type 1).
Die Data: 1860 four-digit date logotype with digits in 18 and 60 about the same distance apart; digits 86 more widely separated. Lower left serif of 1 is longer than right serif; top interior of 8 is smaller than bottom interi¬or; 0 slightly low and leans slightly right. Used on all dies for all mints. Date logotype positions vary.
Proof Die Data and Notes: Date logotype lightly impressed into the die. 1 (I860) slightlv closer to the neck truncation than to the dentils. Possibry, 1 obverse dies were made (the 1955 Baldenhofer plate coin. Lot 1521, seems to have the logotype slightlv lower than the David W. Akers plate coin). The Proofs of this date were made -with frosted devices ("cameo**) against deep mirror fields, this being generally true for other Proofs of diis decade. Such pieces are far more beautiful than those made decades later with little contrast (particularly dur¬ing the 1902-1907 years).
Trompeter Specimen: Thin numerals; nearly vertical die file mark on neck above B.L.; small areas of die pol¬ish on neck before hair and in front of eve; dentils well apart except near date. Reverse with no extra outlines at stars; rays well apart; die over polishing nas left some feathers fragmentary on dexter wing and below shield; no unpolished areas at branch or arrows or letters. Dentils well apart, tapering and unusually narrow at ends. Possibly the 1859 die repolished.

Number of Appearances: 137 (31%)
High Grade Condition Points: 84
Proofs: 59

Auction Records:

(8) Proof:
B&R-Garrett 3/80; Stack's 2/77; Ullmer 1974; Alto 1970; Wolfson 1962; Baldenhofer 1955; Atwater 1946; Bell 1944

(25) Unc: Stack's 9/81. 3/81, 10/80; Kagin's 9/80; Auction '80; Kagin's 2/80; Superior 1/80; Paramount 11/79; Auction '79; Ivy 1/78; New England 11/77; ANA 1976 (3); Pine Tree 6/75; RARCOA 4/75: Stack's 6/74. 6/73; Kreisberg/ Cohen 11/72; Shapero 1971; Stack's 10/70; Miles 1968; Kosoff 2/68; Melish 1956; WGC 1946

(34) AU: Stack's 3/81; NASCA 12/80; Kagin's 4/80; Stack's 9/79: ANA 1979; New England 3/79; Ivy 2/79; Kagin's 1/79. 9/78; ANA 1977; Kreisberg Cohen 11/76; AAA 6/76; Pine Tree 3/76; Stack's 9/75; ANA 1975; Pine Tree 6/75; AAA 6/75; Beck 1975; AAA 11/74; Paramount 11/74; GENA 1974(2); Pine Tree 3/74; Stack's 2/73, 2/72; ANA 1971; DiBello 1970; Stack's 1/70, 1/69; Kreisberg/Cohen 6/68; Paramount 11/67; Kosoff 10/65; Bell 1963; Roach 1944

(36) EF:
Stack's 6/81; NASCA 12/80; Stack's 2/80(2), 12/79(2); NASCA I0/79; Stack's 10/79 (2), 9/79; Auction '79 (2); Stack's 2/79, 2/77; ANA 1976; Paramount 5/75; ANA 1974; Stack's 12/73; Scanlon 1973; Stack's 3/73; Gilhousen 1973; Stack's 6/72; Paramount 9/71; RARCOA 5/71; Stack's 4/71; Paramount 2/71; Stack's 6/70, 3/69; Paramount 2/69; Stack's 4/67. 10/66; Golden 1963; Cicero 1960; Baldenhofer 1955; Smith 1955; Kern 1950

(30) VF:
Coin Galleries 9/81; NASCA 4/81; Kreisberg 9/80; Stack's 3/80, 6/79, 6/77; Paramount 4/77, 1/77, 2/76, 11/75; Superior 10/74; Stack's 2/74, 9/72; Kreisberg Cohen 11/70; Stack's 9/70; Shuford 1968; Stack's 5/68; Bolt 1966; Kreisberg 11/65; Paramount 2/65; Walton 1963; FUN 1963; Golden 1962; Holmes 1960; Melish 1956; Farouk 1954; Davis/Graves 1954; Menjou 1950; Lee 1947; Flanagan 1944

(4) Fine:
Coin Galleries 4/76; Kreisberg 9/67, 10/66; Dunham 1941

The 1860 Double Eagle is a moderately scarce date, on a par overall with the 1854 (though not as rare in Unc.) and more rare than the 1850-1853 P-Mint issues. However, it is not as rare as the five P-Mints immediately preceding it. The 1860 is available in a wide range of grades from VF to average uncirculated. Choice and gem mint state specimens are fairly rare but they are available from time to time. I have seen at least a half dozen Unc-65 or better examples. Proofs of this date are very rare. A reported 59 were struck but because an 1860 proof is actually more rare than many later proofs with much lower mintages it is likely that many were never sold and thus were later melted. I would estimate that no more than 10 proofs can be accounted for today.
Although not a regular issue, it is worth making a comment on the 1860 with the A.C. Paquet Reverse. Since it is now known that the 1861 Paquet was intended for regular circulation, the correct status of the 1860 Paquet is that of a transitional pattern. Only one specimen is known, a very choice proof, and it is in the Smithsonian Institution. This is undoubtedly the same coin that appeared in Bangs, Merwin & Co.'s May 1873 sale as Lot 1329.

See this 1860 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


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