Rare 1856 Double Eagle gold coin sells for US$345,000 in California

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An exceptionally rare coin, which had been hidden in a family collection for over a century, sold at Heritage Auction Galleries Californian Coin Auction for US$345,000.

The 1856-O Double Eagle gold coin, rated as XF45+ (XF meaning Extremely Fine) was discovered in July 2010, having been held by a family after it had been held in the James Bullock collection. Given a value in the auctioneer's catalogue of $220,000, it quickly rose past that with the help of the 5,000 bidders Heritage say were involved in the auction.

The coin is believed to be one of 20 or fewer examples available commercially. Two are in the Smithsonian Museum.

The President of Heritage Auctions, Greg Rohan, said, "We were all quite impressed overall with how these coins performed". He continued, "Collectors continue to respond enthusiastically to the best and rarest examples, as evidenced by the heated competition for the Bullock 1856-O double eagle. We don’t expect to see a drop-off in gold demand as the year comes to a close and we hold our last few auctions of 2010."

Overall, Heritage said that a $13.4 million total was achieved with 96% of lots sold.

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