1851-O NEW ORLEANS $20 GOLD SSCA-2Just a year after double eagles were authorized, they had become a staple of American commerce. The 1851-O mintage is nearly twice as great as the next most common New Orleans double eagle (1852-O had a mintage of 190,000). In 1851, the New Orleans Mint produced 315,000 pieces making this the highest O-Mint double eagle mintage, and the most available New Orleans $20 gold piece.
However, the coins were all released into circulation at the time of issue, making the 1851-O mostly available today in lower circulated grades, but high-grade specimens are seldom encountered. This 1851-O represents the most collectible Louisiana issue in the series, and is a popular choice of branch mint type collectors. Despite the quantity available, this issue is considered scarce, compared to its Philadelphia Mint counterpart. The appeal of O-mint double eagles drives strong demand for such coins in all grades.
This 1851-O $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle from the SS Central America 2 shipwreck recovery. This highly collectible coin is a great addition to any numismatic collection. The SS Central America was a 280 foot side-wheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the U.S. at that time. On September 12, 1857, the Central America sunk in a hurricane two hundred miles off the Carolina Coast in 8,000 feet below the Atlantic, taking the lives of 425 men and over 4,700 pounds of California gold.
The sinking of the SS Central America, known as ''The Ship of Gold,'' was one of the worst peacetime tragedies of men, ship, and gold lost at sea. It contributed to the deepest depression of the 19th Century both economically and emotionally. Originally discovered in 1987 and brought to market in the year 2000, it has been one of the most remarkable events in numismatic history. In 2014, Odyssey Marine Exploration went back to recover the remaining gold. After 4 years, the ''Greatest Treasure Ever Found'' has come to market for a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of historical significance from the California Gold Rush, with the providence of the SS Central America Shipwreck Treasure Recovery.
This 1851 New Orleans issue is reminiscent to time that the Sioux Indians agreed to give up their lands in Iowa and almost all of Minnesota in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. James Savage becomes the first white man to enter Yosemite Valley while pursuing a band of Indians who had raided several trading posts in the region. It was the year that Moby Dick was published by Herman Melville, and The New York Times newspaper first appeared in September 1851. On Christmas Eve in 1851, the largest fire in the history of the Library of Congress wiped out nearly two-thirds of the collection. It destroyed 35,000 out of the library's 55,000 irreplaceable books at the time, including most of Thomas Jefferson's archive. This 1851-O is a golden piece of our American history.