The 1860 Liberty Double Eagle, PCGS PR65+CAM is the Professional Grading Service’s (PCGS) Coin of the Month.
Double eagles are the numismatic candy of the high roller, a large pre-1933 gold coin with historic allure and time-honored designs. Among the double eagles are those of the Liberty type, which debuted for circulation in 1850 and lasted through 1907. Earlier examples of this type are notably rare, with the proof specimens counted among the rarities of this popular series of gold coins. The 1860-proof Liberty double eagles are deceivingly rare. Yes, just 59 proofs were struck, a number in itself that screams outstanding rarity. But there are not 59 proofs accounted for. In fact, just seven are known – making an already rare coin all the rarer.
Proofs from the early 1860s are a curiosity of the connoisseur collector, as the United States Mint had begun making proofs on a regular basis in 1858. These early proofs are rare across the board, leaving only a tiny handful for the many collectors who have the means and interest to collect these pieces. Suffice it to say, early proofs of the double eagle series are highly coveted.
One incredible example of this relatively elusive proof issue was graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as Proof-65 Cameo – an incredible level of preservation for a piece such as this, and clearly an earlier strike given its cameo designation. The tangible grade is, in and of itself, a tremendous asset for this coin, but an intangible element that imbues further prestige for this piece is its pedigree tracing through the collection of Harry W. Bass, Jr., who bought this coin in 1970. The coin was also on display within the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection for two decades at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum. This fantastic rarity traded hands for $1,200,000 when Heritage Auctions sold it on September 29, 2022.
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