History, Information, and Value of 1881 Gold Liberty Double Eagle
Value of 1881 $20 Double Eagle
The 1881 double eagle is typically encountered with an overall sharp strike; softness of detail is minor and generally confined to the hair curls over Libertys brow. As one should perhaps expect for a low mintage issue, all known examples that retain at least some of the original finish are prooflike. The surfaces are typically moderately to heavily abraded. The 1881 inaugurates a run of low mintage double eagles from the Philadelphia Mint that continues through 1887. This is a very rare issue with only a few dozen survivors accounted for, most of which grade EF or AU. Mint State examples can be counted on two hands, the finest certified an MS-62 listed at PCGS. Proof double eagle production ratcheted up in 1881, although this issue is still exceedingly rare in numismatic hands. No more than 20 specimens are believed extant.