1891 Double Eagle Rarity Featured in our August 2021 Auction for the ANA World’s Fair of Money

Beginning in 1877, the denomination listed on the double
eagle was expanded from TWENTY D. to TWENTY DOLLARS, ushering in the Type 3
design that would be used until the series conclusion in 1907. These three
decades witnessed some of the lowest mintages of the entire series, presenting
numerous challenges for today’s collectors. The 1891 is one of these
significant rarities among Type 3 double eagles, rivaling some of the legendary
dates of the 1880s. During this era, the resources of the U.S. Mint were
evidently focused on production of the new Morgan silver dollar, pursuant to
the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. As such, production of double eagles dwindled,
and the small numbers produced were often sent to Europe and much of it
eventually melted. Only 1,390 coins were struck for 1891 and fewer than 10%
survive today. The vast majority are in circulated grades of AU-55 and lower,
many with surface impartments. When writing in 1988, specialist David Akers
called the 1891 “one of the rarest Philadelphia Mint” double eagles and
remarked that he had seen just “three or four” Uncirculated examples.

We are proud to feature an impressive AU-58 (PCGS) 1891
double eagle in lot 4258 of our August Auction that approaches the lower ranks
of the Condition Census. It is an historic rarity whose technical quality is matched
by its eye appeal. Considerable reflectivity in the fields contrasts with the
satin texture across the design elements. The complexion is a beautiful
rose-gold with sharp detail throughout. Minor bagmarks are noted under a glass
but true friction is minimal. It is superior in all respects and quite close to
Mint State quality. PCGS has certified only seven coins in Uncirculated grades,
emphasizing the significance of this Choice AU treasure.

This AU-58 (PCGS) will be offered in our Official Auction for
the ANA World’s Fair of Money this August. It will accompany a vast selection
of world-class rarities including the finest known 1804 dollar, an original
1827/3 quarter, a Mint State 1796 Stars quarter eagle, and many other
treasures. For more information on our August auction, please contact Stack’s
Bowers Galleries by telephone at 800-566-2580 or by email at
[email protected].​​

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