Heritage Auctions Europe
Auction 82  13-18 May 2024
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Lot 8247

Starting price: 30 000 EUR
Price realized: 32 000 EUR
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USA - Regular Coinage - 20 Dollars 1885, Philadelphia mint - Liberty head (KM74.3, Fr.177) - Obv: Liberty Head / Rev: Eagle and shield - Gold, very low mintage of only 751 pcs. - NGC AU55 (6643000-001)
Always near the top of the wantlist for collectors of rare date gold as well as date-and-mint double eagle specialists, the 1885 twenty trails only the 1882 issue and the 1861 Paquet as the lowest-mintage double eagles meant for circulation. (Some people argue the Paquet should not be considered, but despite most of the pieces being withdrawn and melted, it was certainly a circulation strike.) In any case, the minuscule 751 pieces minted has forever labeled the 1885 twenty as an absolutely rare coin.
Probably no more than 100 examples remain from the original mintage in all conditions. Most are heavily bagmarked even when in Mint State. Most, too, are prooflike since they are, by definition, all "early strikes." The present example qualifies on both counts, with prooflike surfaces providing flash and eye appeal, although light abrasions are scattered across the surfaces.
The strike is bold and full, The fields show light chatter but virtually no heavy marks. Sharp luster remains across the surfaces. The orange-gold patina suggests this coin is in its natural state as minted, confirmed by the plentiful mint bloom that shines through on obverse and reverse. As always, this rare issue will inspire spirited bidding among gold specialists and double eagle aficionados
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