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1856-S $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle, 17O PCGS AU58 Ex. SS Central America


Here’s an attractive and quite desirable example of the 1856-S double eagle in the collectible grade of AU58. Housed in the exclusive PCGS Gold Foil Label holder, this piece is from the first, historic retrieval mission of the ruins of the SS Central America. This offering is the 17O variety (No Serif, Left S). PCGS has graded 7 of the 17O as AU58 with 43 finer.

Shipwreck coins began to slowly enter the collector market in 2000, and by 2001-2002 thousands of such coins were available to the numismatic community. Coins from the Central America were well-preserved and expertly conserved before being graded by PCGS.


Depiction of the sinking of the SS Central America. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Doug Winter writes, "The marketing for this group of double eagles ... was masterful and hundreds of serious collectors were created. The prevailing thought was that if someone entered the market as an investor and bought a nice ... double eagle from the shipwreck, by providing him with massive amounts of research and history it would be possible to create many new collectors ..."

Before 2000, the supply of high-end Type One double eagles, such as the 1856-S offered by AUCM, was very limited. "But," writes Winter, "you had a perfect storm of increased supply coupled with increased demand not to mention a rise in gold prices and considerable mainstream interest in gold as an inflation hedge among hard money advocates."



More Information
PCGS # 8919
Grading Service NONE
Year of Issue NONE
Grade NONE
Denom Type N/A
Numeric Denomination $20
Mint Location NONE
Designation NONE
Circ/UnCirc Not Specified
Strike Type N/A
Holder Variety 17O, No Serif, Left S. EEx. SS Central America
Grade Add On NONE
Holder Type N/A

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