1908-S Double Eagle Drives $10.9M Heritage’s Long Beach US Coins Auction

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A 1908-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS67 PCGS. CAC sold for $336,000 to lead Heritage’s June 13-16 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction to $10,896,150.

1908-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS67
1908-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS67

"This is a exceptional result for an exceptional coin," says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "The 1908 $20 gold coin from the San Francisco mint is among the rarest and most desirable issues in this ever-popular series designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens. This coin found a new home in the cabinet of a savvy connoisseur and the nearly 100 bids executed suggests the marketplace for numismatic trophies remains alive and well."

One of the top coins in the Citizen Bold Collection that included 109 Morgan dollars – and in the entire auction – was an 1893-S Morgan Dollar, MS63 PCGS that closed at $276,000. This is a Mint State example of the coin acknowledged as the business-strike key of the series. Because of the financial climate at the time, the San Francisco Mint struck just 100,000 dollars in 1893, most of which went into circulation. Today, an Uncirculated 1893-S like the one sold in this auction is widely considered the Holy Grail of a Morgan dollar collection.

1893-S Morgan Dollar, MS63
1893-S Morgan Dollar, MS63

The 1893-S Morgan Dollar was one of eight lots in the Citizen Bold Collection that reached six figures, a list that also included:

  • $180,000: An 1892-S Morgan Dollar, MS64+ PCGS CAC that is a landmark condition rarity in the series, a prize that trails only the legendary 1893-S in high-grade rarity
    1892-S Morgan Dollar, MS64+
    1892-S Morgan Dollar, MS64+
  • $150,000: An 1856-S Double Eagle, MS66 CAC PCGS from the S.S. Central America, which has come to be known as "the greatest treasure ship in the history of United States shipwrecks," this example is tied with one other coin for finest known, and it is the sole finest example with CAC endorsement – the result topped the previous auction record of $74,750, which was set in 2012 at Heritage Auctions
    1856-S $20 No Serif, Left S, Variety-17O, MS66
    1856-S $20 No Serif, Left S, Variety-17O, MS66
  • $132,000: A 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, MS63 NGC that, in this condition, is without question among the top 100 coins of this date
    1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, MS63
    1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, MS63
  • $132,000: An 1889-CC Morgan Dollar, MS64 Deep Prooflike NGC that is from a small mintage of 350,000 produced during the second half of the year, and is widely considered the most elusive Morgan dollar from the Carson City Mint
    1889-CC Morgan Dollar, MS64 Deep Prooflike
    1889-CC Morgan Dollar, MS64 Deep Prooflike

Another collection featured in the auction was the Mercury Rising Collection, Part II, in which one of the highlights was an 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, PR66 Cameo NGC that rode 48 bids to $210,000. Listed among the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, the 1879 Flowing Hair stellas are acknowledged as the most popular 19th-century pattern issue; it is believed that 425 examples of the 1879 Flowing Hair stella were struck between October 4, 1879 and May 10, 1880, all for inclusion in three-coin pattern sets that also included examples of the 1879 goloid dollar (Judd-1617) and the 1879 goloid metric dollar (Judd-1626). These sets were offered to Congressmen for their bullion cost of $6.10, but not to collectors or the general public until the 1880 congressional term was over.

1879 Flowing Hair Stella, PR66 Cameo
1879 Flowing Hair Stella, PR66 Cameo

Also drawing more than 40 bids was an 1866 Liberty Double Eagle, MS64★ Deep Prooflike NGC that climbed to $198,000, topping the previous auction record of $126,500 that was set at Heritage in 2008. Just 138 double eagles dated 1866 have been graded in all Mint State grades by PCGS and NGC combined. Of these, only 14 are graded MS62, one in MS63, and two coins in MS64; all others carry lower grades. Of the two MS64 coins, one is by PCGS and the other is this extraordinary coin by NGC, which has been awarded the NGC Star designation with Deep Prooflike status. No finer business strike specimen of the 1866 date has been graded or is believed to exist.

1866 Liberty Double Eagle, MS64
1866 Liberty Double Eagle, MS64

A 1906 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65 PCGS CAC finished at $174,000. According to the 2025 Guide Book, the Philadelphia Mint struck just 94 proof Liberty double eagles in 1906, to accompany a small business-strike mintage of 69,596 pieces. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population at 50 to 60 specimens in all grades, while Dannreuther estimates a similar total of 50 to 65 examples still extant.

1906 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65
1906 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65

A 1795 Small Eagle Five, MS62 PCGS CAC drew a winning bid of $156,000. Two of the Bass-Dannreuther 12 listed varieties, the BD-6 (including this example) and the BD-5, catch immediate attention through engraver errors – in this case, the the final "S" in "STATES" on the reverse is punched over an erroneous "D."

1795 Small Eagle Five, MS62
1795 Small Eagle Five, MS62

Other top lots included, but are not limited to:

An 1884-S Morgan Dollar, MS64 PCGS: $120,000

An 1886-O Morgan Dollar, MS65 PCGS: $120,000

An 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd-1635, PR62 PCGS: $120,000

A rare Chapman Proof of a 1921 Morgan Dollar, PR65: $114,000

An 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, Judd-1635, PR58+ NGC: $108,240

Complete results can be found at HA.com/1368.

About Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,750,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of more than 6,000,000 past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

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Rick

Some great coins above. Those scarcities/rarities of days gone by put most of our moderns in their place. It would’ve been cool to see those in CA recently. Even the ’08-S Double Eagle, with its many impurities/copper spots was no deterrent for it’s lucky winner. Notice all of the coins above have been graded, mostly PCGS. Some were even upgraded with a + adding thousands to their value. Then some coins that represent the higher end of their grade were awarded with a CAC approval, adding even more thousands to their value. Someday those that mock TPG’s, plus grades, and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rick
AKBob

Rick, I couldn’t say it any better than what you just said. Not only does the grading give more value, they also protect the coins. I’m a fan of graded coins. I do have a lot in OGP still but I have a lot of graded coins. I consider myself a coin collector but when I purchase a coin, I consider it an investment so I look for ways to gain an upside in value when it’s possible. It always surprises me when I hear fellow collectors that say they have zero graded coins. Some say they will never own… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

AKBob and Rick, I personally believe the grading and slabbing of coins is a fine way to get them evaluated and protected. Simultaneously, I have never once gotten any of my coins graded or slabbed nor do I have any plans to do so going forward. The reason for my dualistic thinking regarding this process is not in any way complicated. I neither now possess nor imagine I ever will acquire coins of sufficient value to make grading a monetarily worthwhile and/or reasonable proposition. I have always collected on a very low key (read price) level and solely for the… Read more »

Craig

Most of my coins were bought from the US Mint and I’ve never sent any to be graded. I have also bought coins from various places that have been graded, I have no complaints about grading services other than I wonder why so many bullion coins are being graded these days. I just don’t see any value in a ‘perfect’ bullion coin with a MS70 population of hundreds of thousands. I’m fond of older coins and buying them graded affords a degree of certainty in their pricing, assuming they aren’t counterfeit. Lol.

REB

Agree on all points.

Kaiser Wilhelm

REB and Craig,
I’m similarly aligned with all those pertinent points, gentlemen. The single issue I would like to focus on is whether or not “bullion” is even in fact a numismatic item. It’s been my understanding that bullion, just like bars and ingots, was designed to be an investment vehicle, not a collectable. Somewhere along the way things got off track.

Major D

Kaiser, I’d say it’s all about duping the uninformed. The loose coin is usually identified as BU, and the slabbed version with a (W) to signify no mint mark. However, to label the bullion version MS is very misleading indeed IMO without the word bullion anywhere to be found. The grading companies are in on the scam, as they work for the dealers primarily. And the Mint is also to blame big time as the Mint could easily stamp the bullion versions as BULLION, but it doesn’t– because it sells these only to the dealers and the dealers like and… Read more »

2024-w-american-silver-eagle-ms-69-pcgs-firststrike_284583_slab
AKBob

Kaiser, they (grading services) only started grading the bullion versions in the early 2000’s. Most monster Box’s had been opened by then (1986-2000) so you couldn’t get First Strike or Early Releases, etc. unless they were still sealed. Also, the first 15 years, the quality of strikes were not very good. There’s lots of 68 and 69’s but few 70’s prior to 2000. You still can’t make a complete set of 70’s graded by PCGS. NGC has graded 70’s in every year but a 70 set is well over $100K or used to be anyways, I haven’t checked in the… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

I appreciate all of those particulars regarding the ins and outs of Bullion ASEs and how those coins have their own particular fascination, AKBob. Frankly, since I forever stand by my watchwords of “To each his own” I wouldn’t want to take anything away from those who take their own particular pleasure in collecting and or stacking (or both, for that matter) Bullion ASEs of whatever stripe, shape, or form; more power to anyone finding purpose and joy in anything to do with coins, after all. My specific and only objection is, as I outlined in my comment addressed to… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

All excellent points, Major D. You nailed the fact that one of the dealers’ very favorite tricks is to in fact sell the bullion ASEs as if they were the Mint’s much higher priced Numismatic version – as in Uncirculated aka Burnished – of these coins. The “magic” is so simple to work since the term “Uncirculated” can be applied to 1) a specific type of Mint strike or it can, and purposely confusingly so, be 2) used for a Bullion coin that hasn’t been touched by the public, obfuscating the reality of course that no Bullion coin is ever… Read more »

Rick

Kaiser, I’ll chime in for just a minute with my novice take. Bullion has never gotten off track imo, ever. The photo below, take notice of the Monster Box straps and read them. You can buy one, send in the unmolested box to a TPG and receive 500 graded coins(on the Sheldon 70pt Scale)Officially Minted at West Point–Legit, I’m not kidding. You can also tell them to ony grade 100 coins and send the rest back to you. Bullion coins have been an investment vehicle AND a collectable since ancient times. You, if anyone, I would think knows this verifiable… Read more »

MONSTER-BOX-WEST-PIONT
Kaiser Wilhelm

Rick, It’s my understanding that these monster boxes cannot be purchased from the US Mint by the likes of us, members of the coin buying public. To acquire one of these mega troves of ASEs we are obliged to avail ourselves of the services of one of the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers either directly or by way of someone down the supply chain from the Authorized Purchaser that this original Mint contractor has sold them to. If there wasn’t in fact any difference between Numismatic ASEs and Bullion versions thereof then this unique Mint sales distinction couldn’t ever have arisen and/or… Read more »

Rick

Thanks Kaiser, All that I can come up after navigating through your opinion, is to thank you for coming full circle on the ridiculous & preposterous argument regarding bullion coin grading and collecting to be a sham… “ the ultimate vendor of these Bullion Coins to the public doesn’t change anything regarding the fact that the Mint originally sold these as being specifically Bullion rather Numismatic coins.” Kaiser, it is up to the ultimate & final purchaser to determine whether their sought after bullion coin is considered “numismatic”, or not. They don’t care what you think whatsoever. The Mint has no… Read more »

6-23-24-MORGAN-PURCHASE-1881-S-GOLD-CAC
Major D

Rick, I think Kaiser said it pretty well when he said: “To each his own” I wouldn’t want to take anything away from those who take their own particular pleasure in collecting and or stacking (or both, for that matter) Bullion ASEs of whatever stripe, shape, or form; more power to anyone finding purpose and joy in anything to do with coins, after all. I’d add that all of the Mint’s numismatic products are collectibles. Not unlike baseball cards, comic books, Hot Wheels, and the like (except of course, there’s a floor value due to the face amount and the… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Major D
Rick

I’ll disagree.
Next post–technical issues…

Last edited 26 days ago by Rick
Major D

A few of these sure do look cleaned to me.

Major D

With tell-tale signs of scrubbing, the grade should be Details not a PR or an MS.

Major D

Happy American Eagle Day, everybody! Leave it to that crack team at the Mint to create a new day of celebration to sell more American Eagles! I’m going to BBQ and then have some cake with mine.

eye-roll-meme-idlememe-300x308
AKBob

It’s sure been quiet on the last few Articles. Where’s everyone at, must be BBQ’ing, lol!!!! We are having nice weather now, it’s hot, upper 50’s maybe low 60’s. When it gets to 70, folks here are dying, lol. When it’s 70 here, it’s the same as 85 in the lower 48. I tell people it’s because we’re closer to the Sun. I think there’s something to that, it has to do with the angle of the Sun going towards AK. Those coins above are “drop dead gorgeous”!!!!! Even with their flaws, I don’t even notice them. It’s really nice… Read more »

East Coast Guru

AKBob, one idea is to sell all the coins you have so you can purchase one spectacular coin. Saves on storage space too.

Kaiser Wilhelm

East Coast Guru,

Talk about the saying “Less is more”! You’ve pointed the way to the pinnacle of that!

AKBob

If I sold everything I wouldn’t be able to purchase (one) these lol! I wish and if I could, I wouldn’t, lol! Although coins like these can go up considerably in value (upside) compared to other coins, I’d be better off with one of these than what I already have on an upside way of looking at it. Even tho I’m an “upside” kind of collector, I’d rather have a lot of coins over only one or even a handful of rare coins. I’d love to have a true rarity, I think most of us collectors would too.

Craig

AKBob,
I would love to own any one of those coins, however, it always comes down to ‘do I want another new Lamborghini or a rare coin?’ Sometimes the choices are so difficult to make! Lol.

Kaiser Wilhelm

AKBob,

You’re right on target there about the upward effect on temperature of the positive tilt of our planet toward the sun. Counterintuitively, our northern hemisphere winter, on the other hand, takes place when we are closest to our star but tilted away.

AKBob

Thank you for that!

Kaiser Wilhelm

My sincere pleasure, AKBob, and you good sir are entirely welcome!

CaliSkier

For any curious about Major D’s comment re: Happy “National American Eagle Day”? The USM on FB relays: “Today is National American Eagle Day, a day to celebrate our National symbol, the Bald Eagle. A symbol of Freedom and one of the largest birds of prey in North America, the Bald Eagle is beautifully honored on some of the United States Mint’s most coveted coins, including the American Eagle and American Liberty Coins. How many coins in your collection feature our American Eagle?” They(USM) then provide a link to the American Eagle Coins sales page. No press release, no information… Read more »

Major D

I received an email today from the Mint with the subject line “Celebrate American Eagle Day” and a red button “Shop Now” link to the Mint’s American Eagle coins catalog page. Perhaps there will be a Buffalo Day next.

CaliSkier

Well I guess it is nice to know they published this information to those signed up for e-mails from the Mint. I am no longer signed up for e-mail from them. After you wrote about it initially, I checked the mints site, Didn’t see anything, checked YT found nothing and stumbled on to their FB page. Anyhow, thanks for sharing that something had been declared at the USM re: National American Eagle Day”. Which then got me digging a little deeper. I didn’t know, however apparently: “June 20 Each year on June 20, National American Eagle Day honors our national… Read more »

96B4AC50-331C-4964-A0A5-9FADDC778634
Major D

My take on all this is that we already have a number of holidays that celebrate our national symbols, as well as those that fought and sacrificed so that we all can enjoy the liberty that we have. Independence Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day all come to mind. In addition, we have other non-Federal holidays such as Flag Day. If we need to add one more that celebrates what it means (for all citizens) to be an American, my vote (literally) is for Election Day to be made a holiday. Perhaps that is a better day to celebrate the… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

A genius stroke, Major D! What better way to help facilitate the vote?

Major D

As someone who likes to hold a coin in my hand, feel and measure its weight, and see it unfiltered by a piece of plastic as the light hits it from different angles, slabbed coins are not my personal preference. But as a practical matter, as much as I think of it as a racket, I will surely have one graded if it can add value in a sale. Likewise, I will buy (and have bought) slabbed coins as an investment (also as a way to see the various NGC and PCGS grades up close).

CaliSkier

There were at least 5 Liberty and Britannia Au coins up for grabs at this mornings Fire Sale.

REB

So much for the “limited time” offer. Limited to sometime before the end of this decade.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Totally off the beaten path here, REB, but I have always wondered, if the material universe were to no longer exist, would that mean the end of time also?