US Coins

What this 1861-S Coronet double eagle just sold for

An 1861-S Coronet, Paquet Reverse double eagle graded About Uncirculated Details, but damaged and repaired by a previous owner, sold for a strong $52,875 at Stack’s Bowers’ Oct. 30, 2014, Baltimore Expo auction.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Oct. 30 Rarities Night auction held during the Whitman Baltimore Expo was led by the 1853 Collection, but also included a variety of other numismatic items with fascinating stories. 

Here is one of three coins from the auction we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis.  

The coin:

1861-S Coronet, Paquet Reverse double eagle, About Uncirculated details, Repaired

The price:


The story:

When one of two known 1861 Coronet, Paquet Reverse $20 double eagles brought $1,645,000 at Heritage’s American Numismatic Association auction this past summer, the sale brought attention to this one-year design type. It features the slender letters of Anthony C. Pacquet, and the short-lived design was discontinued after the elegant narrow rim, opposite the wider obverse rim, led to poor wear characteristics.

While just two of the Philadelphia Mint coins are known, approximately 100 of the San Francisco Mint issues survive from a mintage of 19,250 pieces. Examples in all grades are expensive. 

This 1861-S Paquet Reverse double eagle was graded About Uncirculated Details, Repaired, by Professional Coin Grading Service, and Stack’s Bowers notes: “The repair is fairly minor and rather well executed, to the point where it does not adversely affect the overall presentation of the coin. Possibly mounted on the reverse at one point in time, evidence of solder removal is noted for the inside of the eagle’s left (facing) wing, and the field within the circle of stars above the eagle has been extensively, yet expertly tooled.” 

It brought $52,875, which may be considered a strong price in light of a different example graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. as AU Details, Improperly Cleaned, that sold for $42,593.75 at a Sept. 27, 2013, Heritage sale.

Read the rest of Steve Roach's Whitman Expo Market Analysis:

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