Like the Philadelphia 1873 issue, the San Francisco Mint also struck the two major 1873 varieties, ''Open 3'' and ''Closed''. The original Closed 3 date looked very similar to an 1878 date, so mint officials ordered a change in mid-production to a more distinctive ''Open'' number 3. Unlike the 1873 Philadelphia issue, the 1873-S Closed 3 is more common than the Open 3 variety in this S-Mint issue at a ratio of about three to one. About Uncirculated condition are considered fairly common, and Mint State coins are scarce, to very scarce in higher grades. The finest known is a MS 64.
1873 in San Francisco was the year the first San Francisco Cable Car ran on Clay Street, and it was also the first running of the Preakness Stakes horse race in Baltimore, Maryland in front of a crowd of 12,000. In the Wild West, the first train robbery was committed by Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang. It was also the beginning of the Indian Wars when Lt. Colonel George Custer and his 7th Cavalry clash for the first time with the Sioux Indians in Montana.
This 1873 Gold Double Eagle is a tangible artifact of the ''boom and bust'' time in American economics. 1873 began an economic depression when the New York stock market crashed, setting off a financial panic that caused bank failures and closed the New York Stock Exchange, during what became known as ''The Panic of 1873''. Today, the 1873 $20 Liberty is one of the most popular and most common of its variety, making it an affordable addition to any Double Eagle collection.
The 1873-S $20 Liberty gold coin is one of the most popular and most common of its variety, however, in mint-state, the 1873-S issue is scarce, as are all Type II $20 gold coins. Choice examples are quite rare and seldom available, and cost in excess of $10,000 in today's market. This uncirculated Mint State gold coin from San Francisco has survived for almost 150 years, and is a tangible piece of American history.
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