||1850-O $20 AU55 NGC. CAC. Variety 2. In the early days of the California Gold Rush, before the San Francisco Mint was erected, most of the mined gold ore was shipped to the Philadelphia and New Orleans facilities for coinage. The double eagle was the denomination of choice, as it was by far the most efficient way to coin large amounts of gold quickly. In 1850, the first year of production for the new denomination, the New Orleans Mint contributed 141,000 coins to the tally. These circulated quite extensively in the South, and most survivors are in the VF to XF grade range. High-End AU representatives are scarce, and Mint State pieces are exceedingly rare. This Choice AU example displays fiery copper-orange hues in the protected regions, while the remainder of each side shows original bronze-gold patina. Wear is minimal, and the surfaces are unusually clean for the grade. NGC has certified just 21 numerically finer representatives (8/14). Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $28200.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.