History, Information, and Value of Type 1 1866-S Gold Liberty Double Eagle
Value of 1866-S Type 1 $20 Double Eagle
The 1866-S No Motto double eagle is a transitional issue in the Liberty series as 1866 saw the introduction of the Type 2 design. This date and mint is always seen with appreciable softness of strike to the high points on both sides. Additionally, virtually all survivors are heavily abraded, often with numerous deep, detracting marks. The S mintmark is often lightly impressed and, due to a combination of wear and abrasions, can be difficult to discern. The vast majority of survivors retain little, if any luster. The San Francisco Mint struck 120,000 double eagles in February 1866 using at least two Type 1 reverse dies before the facility received instructions from Philadelphia to commence production of the new Type 2 design. The 1866-S No Motto is the second rarest San Francisco Mint Type 1 Liberty Head double eagle after the 1861-S Paquet Reverse. Only 200 or so examples have survived in all grades, with VF being the norm. EF survivors are very scarce, while in AU the 1866-S No Motto is rare. In Mint State this issue is so rare as to be virtually unobtainable.