The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Complete Set of Gold $20 Type 1 Double Eagles

About the Coin

Only eight 1861-P Philadelphia double eagles, out of a total of 346 recovered from the SS Republic, were graded by NGC and given a proof-like (PL) designation. The example in the Arlington Collection is the finest with a grade of MS-63PL.

The 1861-P was once the most available of all Type 1 double eagles. With almost 3 million examples struck by the Philadelphia mint, the 1861-P had the highest mintage of any Type 1 double eagle, and any Liberty Head double eagle with the exception of the 1904-P. If you were a type collector looking for a nice uncirculated example, or an investor looking for a gold bullion coin that may also have some future numismatic premium, the 1861-P was the coin you were most likely to buy.

The discovery of the SS Central America shipwreck changed all that. Today the honor of the most available Type 1 double eagle belongs to the 1857-S of which over 5,000 were recovered from the shipwreck.

What makes the 1861-P historically significant is that it was struck during the first year of the Civil War. Due to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the recent rise in the price of gold, interest in the 1861-P double eagle has been on the rise. What was once considered a readily available coin for type collectors may be much harder to find over the next few years.

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

1861 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — S.S. Republic

SS Republic Population - PL Only

Total Mintage: 2,976,453
Overall Rarity Ranking: 43 of 44 coins
Overall Population: approx. 3,350 to 4,350 coins

Finest recovered from the shipwreck
with a PL designation

1861 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Obverse
1861 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Reverse

The Arlington Collection of Double Eagles