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1850 Double Eagle

Circulation Strike Mintage 1,170,261
First year of issue. Especially scarce in Mint State.
Key to Collecting:
The 1850 double eagle is readily available in circulated grades, typically VF or EF, with occasional AU examples on the market. Both 1850 and 1850-O seem to have circulated widly. In many grade the 1850 has always been in great demand as the first year of issue. Most are in circulated grades, but a few dozen Mint State pieces are known.
1850 . Market Values . Circulation Strikes
VF-20 EF-40 EF-45 AU-50 AU-53 AU-55 AU-58 MS-60 MS-61 MS-62 MS-63 MS-64 MS-65 MS-66 MS-67 MS-68 MS-69
$675 $1,050 $1,500 $2,400 $2,600 $2,800 $3,500 $5,500 $6,500 $14,000 $40,000 $65,000 $200,000 - - - -
Highest Auction Price Realized Since 1994
Firm Sale Lot Number Date Amount Grade
Bowers & Merena Harry. Bass, Jr. III 757 May-00 $62,100 PCGS MS64
Availability (Certified and Field Populations)
  VF-20 EF-40 EF-45 AU-50 AU-53 AU-55 AU-58 MS-60 MS-61 MS-62 MS-63 MS-64 MS-65 MS-66 MS-67 MS-68 MS-69
Cert. Pop 152 174 294 202 129 140 80 12 31 27 11 2 1 0 0 0 0
Field Pop. 3,000 to 5,000 30 to 50
Aspects of Striking:
Usually very well struck. Frosty or partially prooflike surfaces are the norm.
Die Data:
1850 four - digit date logotype with numerals widely and fairly evenly spaced; top and bottom openings of 8 about the same size; 5 with upright slightly slanting, knob close to upright, touching on deep impressions; 0 slightly low and leans slightly right (most evident by viewing the center of the 0). Used on all dies for both mints.
Selected Citations
63rd Sale (New Nethelands Coin Co., Inc., April 1972) Lot 967: "1850. Close 5, cracks through legend except CA. Extra Brilliant, sharply struck, frosty gem Uncirculated, superb. The finest we have seen! Prohibitively rare in full Mint State, and always known to be so. In 1890 the Chapman brothers sold a comparable piece in the Cleneay Auction, and illustrated it; the resulting price equaled that of an 1864 Proof. In the second J. E. Bell sale, nine years ago, another one, not as nice, was also illustrated, and brought a middle three figure price slightly above the VF 1871 CC. Truly extraordinary." The Cleneay coin was catalogued by the Chapman brothers in 1890 as follows: "1850 Extremely Fine. Proof surface. Plate III. Rare."
Realized $25. It is likely that "Extremely Fine" meant "Extremely Nice," or "an exceptional example," not a coin with light wear today defined as a grade, such as EF-40 or 45.
Rare Coin List No. 5 (Paramount fixed price offering, July 1973) " 1850 BU, gem. Extremely rare in full Mint State and known to be so for many years...This gem is by far the finest we have ever handled, and over the years we have sold many, many 1850s."
Gold Rush Treasure from the S.S. Central America (Christie's, catalogued by QDB, December 200) Lot 75: "1850 AU-55 (PCGS). Lustrous honey gold with prooflike reflectivity on both sides...Tied with seven others with only one finer example (also in the present sale) from the S.S. Central America treasure certified by PCGS." Realized $5,175. Another: Lot 76: "1850 AU-58 (PCGS). A bright and lustrous specimen of the first date of the Double Eagle. The quality is such that many might call the present piece full Mint State...This is the single finest example among 26 from the S.S. Central America treasure graded by PCGS. Date logotype lightly impressed, 5 'open' as a result, 1 slightly farther from truncation than from dentils, left edge of lower serif over left side of dentil. A fairly heavy reverse die crack untites the bottoms of TWENTY D. and the pellet following while another crack juts to the rim below the E in TWENTY, touching the dentils below the W of that word. The crack then continues and unites the tops of UNITED STATES. The crossbar of the in STATES is broken at its center. Die roughness fills the first A and the E and R of AMERICA." Realized $8,625.
 


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