1855-S GOLD $20 LIBERTY
NGC AU53The San Francisco mint opened in 1854 to turn the vast amount of gold coming out of the hills in the Gold Rush country into U.S Coinage. In 1855, the second year of double eagle production at San Francisco mint, there was an exceptional mintage of 879,675 pieces, more than double the production at Philadelphia and New Orleans, combined for that year. Current price guides for an AU53 are as follows; PCGS Price Guide $3,150, and NGC Price Guide is $3,400.
The 1855-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Type-I is a coin most often found in lower circulated grades, like Very Fine or Extremely Fine condition, with fewer in AU condition. This issue at one time was very rare in Mint State, until the shipwreck recovery of the SS Central America, where more than 300 of these coins were recovered from the 1857 shipwreck, with nearly 100 in mint state condition. The Civil War shipwreck of the SS Republic had only seven 1955-S issues. However, besides the shipwreck recovery coins, most survivors are heavily circulated and are in lower grades.
1855 was an historic year in America. Poet Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass on July 4, 1855. Florence Nightingale brought cleanliness to nursing with her work in the Crimean War. This played an important role in saving lives a decade later during the American Civil War. The famous newspaper, Frank Leslie's Illustrated, began publication. Michigan State University was established, and the Farmers' High School is founded, later becoming Penn State University. The first railroad train crosses the Mississippi River on the first bridge constructed at Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, while the first train crosses the 1st US railway suspension bridge at Niagara Falls. Also, the first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway. The 1855-S is a tangible piece of western history minted from California gold from the Wild West.