BEVERLY HILLS, CA.-
New Orleans double eagles are highly sought after whenever they appear at auction, as was especially evident in Heritage Auctions
' June 4-8, 2014 U.S. Coins Signature Auction at the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo, where an 1854-O $20 AU55 NGC brought $381,875, amidst spirited bidding, to lead the offerings.
"No examples of this coin are known in Mint State grades," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, "leaving coins in the high AU grades the only alternative for specialists seeking the finest available specimen."
An 1850-O double eagle, at MS61 the finest and sole mint state example of the date graded by PCGS, followed the trend when it sold for $111,625.
A rectangular $16 ingot produced by Moffat & Company in 1849 and graded AU58 by NGC sold for $199,750 in the auction, to take the second spot on the podium. Moffat & Co. is well known as a producer of what we now call territorial gold coins, but their ingots are known in denominations ranging from $9.43 to $264. Heritage experts believe that only 15-20 of the $16 ingots exist, with the present piece tied for the finest numerical grade at the major grading services.
The unusual dull sandblast surfaces found on the proof double eagles of 1912 were not popular with collectors of the day, but the combination of the distinct look of the coin with the double-digit mintage makes the coin a prize today, as evidenced by the sale price of $193,875 realized by a 1912 $20 PR67 PCGS Secure CAC example in the Long Beach auction. This coin is the sole example to be graded as a Superb Gem by PCGS.