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1884 Liberty Head Double Eagle Obverse     1884 Liberty Head Double Eagle Reverse
  

  
1884 DOUBLE EAGLE OR
$20 GOLD

PCGS No: 9100

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 0
Proofs: 71

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) below the eagle's tail on the reverse

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Notes:
The 1884 $20 is one of the classic rarities in the Liberty Head series and one of only three Proof-only dates (along with 1883 and 1887).  The mintage of only 71 Proofs makes it the rarest Proof-only Double Eagle date.  An estimated 10-15 examples survive.

The cameo frosting on all known examples has an uneven appearance, labeled a “peculiar color discontinuity” by Breen, with some areas more heavily frosted than others.

PCGS and NGC have graded only 16 examples, split evenly between them.  PCGS reports 1 PR-60, 2 in PR-63, 4 in PR-64, and 1 in PR-65 Deep Cameo.  NGC shows 2 in PR-63 Cameo, 5 in PR-64 Cameo, and 1 in PR-66 Cameo.

Since 1994, collectors have had less than one chance per year to purchase this date at auction and a surprisingly high percentage of those that have appeared at auction were “raw” (uncertified).

The price record for this date is the $149,500 paid for the NGC PR-66 Cameo in January 2004.

The finest Proof 1884 Double Eagles graded by NGC is a single PR-66 Cameo.

The finest Proof 1884 Double Eagles graded by PCGS are four PR-64's.

The finest Proof Deep Cameo 1884 Double Eagle graded by PCGS is a single PRDC-65.

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

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, April 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"The NGC Census", April 2004 by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation