The frosty honey-gold surfaces of this attractive Choice AU double eagle exhibit lively luster, plentiful mint frost in the protected areas, and a sheen of warm rose iridescence. The surfaces verge on immaculate to the naked eye, and a glass produces nothing more than some trivial ticks. Breen-7217, Small S variety, called "rare" in Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia. Heavy reverse die cracks through the tops of the legend, especially at AMERICA. The Bowers reference on the denomination (Whitman, 2004) notes: "The San Francisco Mint used many cracked reverse dies, seemingly keeping them in use for a longer period of time than was done at the Philadelphia Mint. Medium S (sometimes called Large S) mintmark is the style usually seen; the Small S exists and is much rarer." Undeniably choice by any standards, this 1863-S double eagle should realize a premium price.