||1852 $20 AU58+ NGC. CAC. Whether by land via the Isthmus of Panama, or by sea around Cape Horn, transporting gold bullion from California to the federal mints in the east was hazardous and decidedly impractical. In July 1852, Congress authorized the establishment of a branch mint in San Francisco, but its operational capacity was still two years off. For the duration of 1852, therefore, Philadelphia continued to receive large shipments of California gold, coining more than 2 million double eagles. This issue is readily available in circulated grades, but becomes highly elusive in Mint State. The present Plus-graded AU58 example displays luminous orange-gold patina with substantial luster in the recesses. High-point friction is almost nonexistent, and abrasions are minimal. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $4993.75. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.