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Item 134 - 1865-S $20 Gold Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin recovered from the SS Brother Jonathan Shipwreck (NGC MS63) Catalog 543 (Jan 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Estimate: $12,000.00 +
Sold Price: $15,003.75 (includes buyer's premium)


Scarce 1865-S $20 Gold Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin recovered from the SS Brother Jonathan shipwreck, encapsulated and graded by NGC as "MS63." The iconic Liberty Head Double Eagle gold coin, minted with a composition of 90% gold and 10% copper, a weight of 33.4 gm, and a diameter of 34.1 mm, was first created in 1849 and began to be issued for commerce in 1850; this 'Type I' design was issued from 1850-1866. Most of the high-grade 'Type I' Double Eagles minted in San Francisco in the market today were recovered from shipwrecks, where they had rested underwater and been preserved for over a century. These notable wrecks include the SS Brother Jonathan, the SS Central America, and the SS Yankee Blade. The SS Brother Jonathan, a luxurious paddle steamer en route from San Francisco to Portland, sank off the coast of California in July 1865. Of the over 240 passengers and crew on board the Brother Jonathan, only one lifeboat of 19 people made it safely to shore. More than 500 examples of the 1865-S $20 coin were recovered during salvage efforts beginning in 1996, making this desirable issue available in high grades that were previously unheard of. A simply spectacular example with an alluring origin from a Civil War-era shipwreck.

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