In October 1865, with the country reeling from the chaos of the Civil War, a ship named SS Republic left New York harbor bound for New Orleans. During the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) there were regular shipments of gold and silver coins setting sail to the south to rebuild the wreckage the war had left behind. Unfortunately, the shipment of some $400,000 in gold and silver aboard the SS Republic, would not make the port of New Orleans due to its encounter with a hurricane that sent her to the bottom of the deep blue sea.
Aboard her was some 50,000 silver coins and thousands of ten- and twenty-dollar gold coins. Amazingly one of the $20 Liberty coins was dated 1854 exhibiting an “O” mintmark.
Undoubtedly this rarity was singled out by the Bank of New York to be sent back to its origin, New Orleans.
The discovery of an 1854-O among thousands of other double eagles dated 1850-1865 rocked the numismatic world. It has been displayed all over the country in many venues and museums.
This single example of this rare and popular coin is truly special.
The 1854-O, along with the 1856-O, is one of the rarest of all double eagles. Examples are seldom seen outside of auctions and are almost always associated with major name collections.