US Coins

Market Analysis: Key 1881, 1885 Coronet double eagles

Key date 1881 and 1885 Coronet $20 gold double eagles graded AU-58 by NGC realized $105,000 and $60,000, respectively, at Heritage’s May Platinum Night auction.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Many of the Philadelphia Mint’s Coronet $20 double eagles from the 1880s are tougher dates, like the 1881 mintage of 2,199 pieces, of which around 60 survive.

Most examples showcase some prooflike reflectivity in the fields, as does this one, which benefits from a “pinpoint-sharp strike,” alongside “flashy mint luster” and “frosty abundance of eye appeal.” Both sides are “peppered with small marks and minor abrasions,” but given the extreme rarity of Mint State survivors, bidders cannot be too selective, and the About Uncirculated 58 example sold for $105,000 in a May Heritage auction.

The Philadelphia Mint’s 1885 Coronet double eagle featured an even lower mintage of just 751 struck for circulation, one of the lowest mintages of all U.S. issues. Fewer than 100 survive in all grades, and this one has just a bit of friction, while “the orange-gold surfaces show the expected number of minor abrasions for a large gold coin that spent a short time in circulation.” This AU-58 piece sold for $60,000 at the May auction.

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