1851 GOLD $20 LIBERTY
PCGS AU58Just two years after double eagles were first authorized, they had become a staple in American commerce. With vast amounts of gold coming out of the ground in California, the Philadelphia mint production kicked into high-gear with 2,087,155 double eagles minted in 1851. That was more Philadelphia double eagles minted than in any other year until 1861.
While it is generally considered a common date, it is not quite as common as often assumed. The 1851 is a curiously scarce issue and one that has received little attention from collectors. Probably no more than 70-80 pieces are known in all grades of uncirculated, most of which are in the low mint state grade range. This attractive, original About Uncirculated-58 is an extremely good value at current levels.
This 1851 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 double eagle is a golden piece of our American history.