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Newly discovered $20 to be auctioned

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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An 1856-O $20 coin recently discovered in Ohio and graded XF-45+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is the main attraction in Heritage Auctions’ September 2010 U.S. Coin Auction to be held Sept. 22-25 in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo.

“The 1856-O double eagle is a very rare date,” said Greg Rohan, Heritage president. “No more than two dozen are known, and the real number is probably smaller. Any example is a real treasure, and this piece made a remarkable debut.”

Noted collector John McCloskey identified the coin in the holdings of a family, where it had passed down for three generations. The earliest known owner of the coin was James Bullock, a farmer who lived near Livermore, Ky. He acquired the coin sometime before his death on June 26, 1923, when it was passed on to his heirs. The double eagle, along with several other more common gold coins, was kept in a safe deposit box until McCloskey was asked to examine the group this year.

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Heritage says McCloskey went through a meticulous process to satisfy himself of the coin’s authenticity before announcing his findings.

“This coin shows all the major diagnostics associated with other 1856-O double eagles,” said Rohan. “The most obvious is a die crack on the bottom of the reverse,
but there are other, smaller markers as well, such as a ‘notch’ in the numeral ‘1’ in the date.” See related story on page 1.

NGC has confirmed the authenticity of this 1856-O double eagle, certifying it as genuine and giving it a grade of XF-45+. It will be offered to the collecting public for the first time at the September Long Beach Auction. It is estimated at more than $300,000.

For more information on this coin and other offerings in the official Long Beach auction, visit Heritage online at www.ha.com.

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