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March 07, 2014


1861 Double Eagle Gold $20 SS Republic NGC MS63
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1861 Double Eagle Gold $20 SS Republic NGC MS63 - $24,150

1861 Double Eagle SS Republic - 1861 $20 Republic NGC MS63. In its population report, NGC shows only 25 specimens of this first year of the Civil War in MS63 condition with 5 higher. PCGS does not differentiate those with the shipwreck provenance. This is the nicest 1861 from the SS Republic that we've had the pleasure to offer in years.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

Here is a Civil War dated, shipwrecked, Mint State, Type 1 1861 Double Eagle from the SS Republic. The coin comes with a certificate, box, and blue tag from NGC showing its provenance. The conditionally scarce piece has a medallic strike. Full details are present on the centers of the stars, Liberty’s hair, and the design elements of the reverse, especially the eagle. The yellow-gold surfaces are original and clean for the grade, with no abrasion marks or other distractions worthy of individual mention. The coin is fully lustrous with impressive frost on the devices on both sides.

During the California Gold Rush, the SS Republic, then called the Tennessee, was used to transport miners to the shore of Panama and Nicaragua to travel to the California gold fields. For several years the ship was used to carry immigrants to the Unites States from Mexico. When the Civil War began, the ship was docked in New Orleans. She was seized by the Confederates and used as a blockade runner. After the capture of New Orleans by the North, she became the flagship of Admiral Farragut for the end of the Mississippi Campaign. In 1864, she resumed transporting passengers and cargo from New York to New Orleans. The next year she sank in a hurricane off the coast of Savannah. In 2003, the Odyssey Republic Expedition, after twelve years of searching, discovered and began the recovery of the ship’s treasure. The cargo had been untouched for 138 years approximately 100 miles off the coast of Georgia. “Lost Gold of the Republic,” a film produced by National Graphic, documents the discovery and recovery. The coins recovered from the SS Republic are labeled as such by NGC and its affiliate NCS not only to note the historic significance of the coins, but also to indicate that these coins have been professionally conserved. The blue NGC tag was used exclusively for coins from the Republic.

James B. Longacre designed the double eagle. It shows a Liberty head facing left, wearing coronet inscribed LIBERTY. Her hair is tightly tied in the back with two loose curls hanging down her neck to the end of the truncation. She is surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars with the date below. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the coin. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with elaborate ribbons on both sides of the shield extending from the top corner down to the eagle’s tail feathers. The ribbons are inscribed, on the left E PLURIBUS and UNUM on the right. The ribbons were added to the design to symbolize the denomination since this was the first twenty dollar coin. There is an oval of thirteen stars above the eagle’s head and an arc of rays from wing tip to wing tip behind the upper half of the oval. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc above the eagle, and the denomination TWENTY D. is below.

Longacre was born in Pennsylvania in 1794. When he finished his apprenticeship in Philadelphia as a bookseller and a banknote engraver, he worked on his own as an engraver of book illustrations and bank notes. His works included one on the signers of the Declaration of Independence and another on stage personalities. In 1830, Longacre began a series of biographies of famous men in the military and the political arena. In 1834 the result of this series became the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans that was published in four volumes. Longacre and those who worked with him became famous because of this work.

In 1844 Longacre came to work at the Mint. He was opposed by Franklin Peale, the Chief Coiner. Peale was probably responsible for some blundered dies that Longacre was criticized for making. Peal was involved in a private, illegal medal manufacturing business using Mint facilities. He was concerned that this new political appointee would interfere with his business, and he resisted Longacre’s appointment as Chief Engraver. Finally in 1854, Peale was fired by President Franklin Pearce. Longacre flourished in his position and was responsible for creating many new designs including the Indian Head cent, the two-cent piece, the Shield nickel, the Liberty Head gold dollar, the Indian Princess gold dollar, the three-dollar gold piece, and the Liberty Head double eagle.

In its population report, NGC shows 25 in MS63 condition with 5 higher. PCGS does not differentiate those with the shipwreck provenance.


Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com


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