The 1854-O Liberty Double Eagle (Buy on eBay) represents a well-known rarity of the series, created through a combination of its low mintage and extensive circulation. From the original mintage of 3,250 coins, it is estimated that there are only 35 to 40 survivors.
Regular production of the double eagle began in 1850 at the Philadelphia and New Orleans mint facilities. While the mintages in Philadelphia were typically high during this era, production in New Orleans remained much lower. In 1854, the San Francisco Mint would open and begin production of double eagles. As the closest facility to the gold fields, much of the bullion was now deposited and struck into coins locally, resulting in lower mintages from the remaining facilities. This was especially the case for New Orleans, which saw mintages fall to miniscule levels.
Most of the surviving 1854-O Double Eagles grade Very Fine to Extremely Fine, with approximately a dozen pieces in About Uncirculated grades. There are no known examples in mint state grades. The finest known examples of this issue are a few coins graded NGC AU-58. One of these examples, which was recovered from the wreckage of the SS Republic, sold by private treaty for $675,000.
- Designer: John B. Longacre
- Composition: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
- Weight: 33.436 grams
- Diameter: 34 mm
- Edge: Reeded