US Coins

1885 Coronet $20 fresh to the market

An 1885 Coronet double eagle graded PCGS AU Details, Altered Surfaces, sold for $54,000 at Heritage’s CSNS auction.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

An 1836 Classic Head gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded Proof 65+ Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and bearing a Certified Acceptance Corp. green sticker realized $396,000 and emerged as the top lot of Heritage’s April 26 Platinum Night auction held at the Central States Numismatic Society’s annual convention in Schaumburg, Illinois. Heritage’s CSNS U.S. coin auctions totaled nearly $21 million, and rare gold coins led bidding.

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Here is one of the low mintage Coronet gold $20 double eagles from the collection of S. Gus and Louise Alexander that demonstrate the sustained demand for fresh-to-market coins in this always popular series:

The Lot:

1885 Coronet $20 double eagle, About Uncirculated Details, Altered Surfaces

The Price:


The Story:

The Alexander Collection was stored in a safe deposit box before the collector’s death in 1993 and was only recently discovered by the heirs. Among its treasures was an 1886 Coronet double eagle, one of approximately 100 survivors from an original mintage of 751 circulation strikes.

PCGS certified it About Uncirculated Details, Altered Surfaces, though Heritage observed, “The altered surface noted by PCGS is not readily apparent.” It sold for $54,000, only a few bidding increments less than the $61,698 that a problem-free PCGS AU-55 example realized at a 2016 Heritage auction. Most of the existing population has survived in lightly circulated AU grades, but examples are infrequently seen at auction.

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Contemporary collectors in the 1880s preferred to acquire a Proof representative of the date rather than a circulation strike for their collection, which helps explain the issue’s low survival rate today.

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