The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Complete Set of Gold $20 Type 1 Double Eagles

About the Coin

The 1864 Type 1 double eagles from the Philadelphia Mint are some of the hardest to find in uncirculated condition. This coin in The Arlington Collection from the SS Republic and graded MS62 is tied for second finest with only one example finer in MS63. A few years back, I witnessed a scam involving the MS63 coin and

As you can see from my collection, I have an affinity for the shipwreck coins. So you can believe me that when I see one at an auction, I not only take notice, but I also have a good idea of which dealer it came from. As the MS63 example was uniquely the finest for the date and mint mark, I knew the value of the coin and which dealer currently owned it. I had occasionally glanced at images of the coin on their website and wished that I had the means to buy it.

So imagine my surprise when I came across the exact same coin being sold at an auction on It was a classic scam. They were selling this $30,000 coin that I knew they didn't own for a $4,000 starting bid. I checked and they had even stole the pictures from the dealer's own website to use in their auction.

They started the description with the following line: "My father recently passed away and this was his favorite coin ..." Their father must have loved the coin so much that he died when he first saw it since the coin had only recently been recovered from the bottom of the ocean by Odyssey Marine Exploration. They even had a cute little kid's picture attached to their auction id to tug at the heart strings.

So, I looked at their auction history and discovered that they had opened their account only a couple of weeks earlier. They had made a couple of very cheap purchases to get a 100% Positive Feedback Rating. Now they had this coin for sale along with many other auctions for $1000 plasma TV's and $300 iPods. All the auctions were ending within a few days of each other. People were bidding like crazy on these auctions which were obviously a scam. I knew they were going to take people's money and run. People were so greedy for a good deal that they were blind to all the classic warnings of it being a scam.

So I felt real good when I notified the dealer that their coin was being used in a scam so that they could prove to that they owned the coin. And I felt even better when I used's own fraud reporting system to warn them about the obvious fraud. I gave them all the info on the coin including who owned it so they could verify that it was definitely a scam. This all happened days before all those other fraudulent auctions were set to end. I felt good that I had notified so that they could save all those people from losing their money.

A few weeks later, I went back to check on those auctions to see if they were stopped, I was stunned to find that all those people still got scammed. did nothing to stop the fraud and protect those people. had plenty of warning and could have saved those people the loss of their money and the heartache of being ripped off. Now there is row after row of bad feedback from the people who were scammed. One lost $1,100 on a plasma TV auction, another $328 on an iPod. There were many others.

So, whatever you collect, take the time to learn about your areas of interest. You'll not only enjoy the hobby more, but it may also save you from getting ripped off. Needless to say, you won't find this collector bidding on high value items on

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

1864 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — S.S. Republic

SS Republic Population

Total Mintage: 204,235
Overall Rarity Ranking: 18 of 44 coins
Overall Population: approx. 380 to 480 coins

1864 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Obverse
1864 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Reverse

The Arlington Collection of Double Eagles