The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Complete Set of Gold $20 Type 1 Double Eagles

About the Coin

Only 18 examples of the 1855-P double eagle were recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck.

The 1855-P double eagle in The Arlington Collection is one of only three recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck that are graded mint state by NGC. At MS-62, this is by far the finest as the other two are both graded MS-60. The other 15 all graded about-uncirculated or below.

Out of the over 7,000 double eagles recovered from the SS Central America shipwreck, apparently only seven 1855-P double eagles were found.

Many dealers like to say the Philadelphia double eagles from about 1855 through 1859 are some of the best values in the Type 1 double eagle market. They like to point to the higher premiums paid for branch mint double eagles of similar rarity. A quick glance at the numbers recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck and you'd have to agree with them.

Numismatist and gold coin expert Doug Winter (Douglas Winter Numismatics) has estimated that there are only between 15 to 20 uncirculated examples known to exist, and that the highest he's ever seen was graded MS-63 (which he states was later upgraded to MS-64).

The 1855-P in the Arlington Collection is one of my favorite coins. It has great eye appeal with lots of mint luster. The coin has remarkably clean fields and surfaces for a MS-62 grade. I believe the vertical mark on the face is the one mark that keeps this coin from being graded MS-63. The reverse is truly spectacular.

The coloring of the coin is a nice yellow gold typical of the coins recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck. I have found that coins with lots of mint luster tend to photograph darker than they appear when viewing them in person and such is the case with this example.

Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 33.436 grams
Diameter: approx. 34mm, reeded edge
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper/silver

1855 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — S.S. Republic

SS Republic Population

Total Mintage: 364,666
Overall Rarity Ranking: 22 of 44 coins
Overall Population: approx. 720 to 920 coins

Finest recovered from the shipwreck

1855 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Obverse
1855 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Reverse

The Arlington Collection of Double Eagles