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1872 Liberty Head Double Eagle Obverse     1872 Liberty Head Double Eagle Reverse

  
1872 DOUBLE EAGLE OR
$20 GOLD

PCGS Nos: 8963, 9087

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 251,850
Proofs: 30

Designer: James Barton Longacre

Diameter: 34 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10% 

Weight: 516 grains (33.4 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) below the eagle's tail on the reverse

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Notes:
The 1872 Double Eagle is part of the series of $20 Gold pieces issued between 1866 and 1876 that include the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" above the eagle and "TWENTY D." on the reverse.  Relatively common in circulated grades, the 1872 Double Eagle becomes scarce in Uncirculated condition.  Like most "Twenties" from this period, the typical 1872 is heavily bagmarked or abraded and any coins that grade MS-62 and above must be considered extremely rare.  Very few Proof examples of this date have survived, yet their quality is among the best of any Double Eagles from the 1870's.

The finest Uncirculated example graded by PCGS is a single MS-63.

The finest Proof example graded by PCGS is a single PR-66.

The finest Proof Deep Cameo example graded by PCGS is a single PRDC-66.

Significant examples:
Proof (illustrated above).  Ex - Trompeter collection

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Julian Leidman, May 15, 1971 - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 881, illustrated, not sold

ICG MS-61.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1377, not illustrated, sold for $1,610.00

MS-60.   Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5708, illustrated, sold for $2,875.00

PCGS MS-60.  Ex - Harry West estate - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 9222, plated, sold for $3,220.00

AU-55.  Ex - Stanley Kesselman, June 6, 1968 - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 882, not illustrated, sold for $805.00

AU-50.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 4135, illustrated, sold for $632.00

EF-45.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1564, not illustrated, sold for $604.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service