1899 $20 Liberty Head NGC PR67 Ultra Cameo CAC. JD-1. R.5.

$685,000.00 USD


The present 1899 Liberty Head double eagle, certified at the Superb Gem proof level and with the Ultra Cameo designation from NGC and CAC, is one of the most remarkable coins in the entire Proof Double Eagle Series. The recorded mintage of the issue was 84 coins, but far fewer survive today: Garrett and Guth put the number somewhere under 30, including the single Smithsonian Institution example -- a PR63 -- and several impaired proofs. The authors point out in the second edition of their Gold Encyclopedia that the 1899 issue is "popular as the last issue of the 19th-century double eagles," although purists would argue that title actually belongs to the 1900 twenty. In any case, the 1899 is, of course, the last issue dated in the 1800s.
The PCGS CoinFacts website pegs the number surviving, in all grades and contrast levels, at 32 pieces, estimating that only 10 of those are in Gem condition or finer. Notwithstanding, PCGS has certified only a single Cameo example in PR66, and there are none finer at that service in any contrast level.
NGC has graded three submissions at the PR67 Ultra Cameo plateau including the present piece -- and "plateau" it is, as there are none finer.
This coin remains the finest proof 1899 twenty, a standing that has remained unchanged for the past 11 years. Turning to the coin at hand, what immediately jumps out at the viewer is the incredible orange-gold-on-jet-black appearance of the surfaces on each side, a function of the enormous contrast set up between the profoundly and gorgeous mirrored fields and the pristine devices, thickly coated with mint frost. The contrast is so stunning, so exorbitant that little "flashing" or tilting of the piece is required to appreciate the effect. The surfaces are so clean that careful and extensive perusal with a loupe reveals little that can be used for future pedigree identification. The offering of this coin presents some happy collector/investor the opportunity to obtain one of the finest proof examples of the entire Liberty Head Double Eagle series. Exceedingly Rare