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1887 Liberty Head Double Eagle Obverse     1887 Liberty Head Double Eagle Reverse
  

  
1887 DOUBLE EAGLE OR
$20 GOLD

PCGS No: 9103

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 0
Proofs: 121

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:
In 1887, Double Eagles were issued only as Proofs, to the tune of 121 coins.  While this is a relatively hefty mintage for the period, few of the coins survived and demand today is huge from date collectors who absolutely must fill that hole in their collection.

Breen called this date “Very rare” and estimated the surviving population to be from 20-25 examples, including “some impaired.”  Today, we have a clearer picture of how many are known thanks to the PCGS and NGC census reports.  For example, PCGS has graded 19 examples; NGC only 13.  Those graded by NGC range from PR-63 to PR-66, with the majority appearing at the PR-64 level.  The range at PCGS is from PR-53 to PR-65, making the example offered here one of the finest available to collectors. 

The price record for this date is $69,000 paid in January 2002 for an NGC PR-66.

The finest Proof examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-65's.

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