For immediate release
February 21, 2008
(Newport Beach, California)
One of the two known 1861 Philadelphia Mint Paquet Reverse $20 gold coins has been sold for a record $2.5 million by Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, California.
“The buyer is an Orange County California business executive who has been collecting since childhood and now is assembling a marvelous collection of Type One (“Liberty Head” 1850 to 1866) Double Eagles. The record price for this spectacular rarity is indicative of the desirability of this historic coin as well as the continuing strength of the rare coin market,” said Adam Crum, Vice President of Monaco.
The sale was announced by Crum during the recent Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo where the coin was part of a multi-million exhibit of Type One Double Eagles. The coin is graded PCGS MS-61.
The anonymous new owner issued a brief statement saying, “I am extremely grateful to Adam Crum and Monaco for the acquisition of this coin. I am honored to be the custodian of such an important piece of history.”
Nearly three million Double Eagle gold pieces were struck in 1861 in Philadelphia, but today only two are known with a slightly modified tail’s side design made by Assistant Mint Engraver, Anthony Paquet. He also is known among Mint historians as the engraver of the first Congressional Medal of Merit. Born in Germany in 1814, Paquet arrived in the United States in 1848. He became an assistant to the Mint Chief Engraver, James Longacre, in 1857. Two years later he began working on new designs for the reverse of the Double Eagle, making the lettering taller and more slender.
“Technical problems with striking the coins and perhaps some internal politics at the Mint in early 1861 resulted in a sudden halt to the production of the $20 gold pieces with the Paquet design on the tail’s side of the coins. The mint resumed production using Longacre’s version. Only two surviving 1861 Philadelphia Mint examples are known with the Paquet reverse design,” explained Crum, who is co-author of the reference book, “An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Type I Double Eagles.”
The pedigree of this coin traces back to the collection of Baltimore adventurer, Col. Mendes I. Cohen, which was sold at auction in 1875 by one of America’s first major coin dealers, Edward Cogan. The coin then vanished from the radar for nearly a century until it was rediscovered in Europe in 1965 in a bag with other $20 gold pieces. Subsequent owners included notable companies and individuals including Paramount International Coin Corporation, Rare Coin Company of America (RARCOA), Abe Kosoff, Mike Brownlee and H. Jeff Browning.
It was first acquired by Monaco for $1,610,000 at the Heritage Auction Galleries sale during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver in 2006, and subsequently privately sold for $1,771,000.
“Few coins are as important, and even fewer can hold the distinction of being rarer. It’s one of only two surviving specimens, and the fourth rarest United States coin behind three unique items; the 1870-S half-dime, the 1870-S $3 “Princess” and the 1873-CC No Arrows dime. This truly is a wonderful coin, and we’re very excited to have the opportunity to assist a collector to own such a historical coin,” said Crum.
For additional information, contact Monaco Rare Coins toll-free at 888-900-9948, or online at www.monacorarecoins.com.