A small antique dealer first discovered this incredible numismatic find in an old estate that was recently acquired. It was subsequently brokered by a gold smith/jeweler, and was then purchased by Byers Numismatic Corp. This die eventually resold in a Bowers and Merena Auction.
This discovery is a United States $20 1882 obverse die. This die struck the obverse design of the $20 Liberty Head double eagle gold coin over a hundred years ago. Not only is this one of the only known dies from the nineteenth century, it is a die that struck gold coins. 1882 is also a very significant year for collectors of double eagles.
Not only would this be an amazing centerpiece to a United States gold coin collection, it is of such numismatic importance that it could be placed in a historical museum or collection of Gold Rush artifacts and antiquities.
Fred Weinberg, PCGS authenticator for mint errors, numismatic author, scholar, and expert on the minting process, wrote a letter regarding this die. He elaborated on how "this die, possibly one of two known $20 Gold Liberty dies, is the only one available on the market at this time, and not displayed in a Museum." He further stated, "my wish is that wherever this die ends up, it is made available for research and public viewing at some time."
Doug Winter, numismatic author, scholar, and expert on rare United States gold coins, examined the die and in a letter emphasized, "it would be hard to imagine a more significant piece of numismatic history for the gold coin collector than this 1882 Double Eagle obverse die. I would have to place it very high on the 'cool scale' of numismatic items that I have viewed in quite some time."