1860-S $20 Liberty Double Eagle PCGS MS61 CAC, Ex. S.S. Brother Jonathan. Like most Type One Liberty double eagles, the 1860-S was extremely rare in high grade before some well-preserved examples surfaced in recent shipwreck finds. This attractive MS61 example was recovered from the wreck of the S.S. Brother Jonathan, which sank near Crescent City, California on July 30, 1865, just after the end of the Civil War. The design elements are well-detailed and the vivid orange-gold surfaces are lightly marked for the grade. The state of preservation is remarkable, as this coin was issued five years before it began its ill-fated sea voyage and presumably only escaped the rigors of circulation by chance during that period. Most examples seen show extensive signs of wear and rough handling and grade no better than VF-XF. Bright mint luster adds to the considerable eye appeal of this delightful piece.
We note that 11 years ago, a NGC MS61 graded 1860-S from the S.S. Republic shipwreck by Heritage in their November 2007 Dallas Signature sale. Offered as lot #2268, this specimen brought $10,350.