1861 Coronet Head Gold $20 Double Eagle: Paquet Reverse

The 1861 Coronet Head Gold $20 Double Eagle with the Paquet Reverse is a coin that holds a special place in numismatic history, recognized for its unique design and the short-lived experiment conducted by Chief Engraver Anthony C. Paquet.

The year 1861 is a significant period in American history, as it marks the beginning of the Civil War. The nation faced economic challenges and transitions during this time, impacting various aspects of American life, including coinage.

The traditional Coronet Head design by James B. Longacre was modified in 1861 by Chief Engraver Anthony C. Paquet.

The Paquet Reverse features a slightly altered rendition of the eagle on the reverse side, with taller, more sharply defined feathers.

The changes were subtle but distinguishable, giving the coin a unique appearance compared to its counterparts with the standard reverse.

Anthony C. Paquet's modifications were part of an experiment to improve the striking quality of the coins, particularly in terms of die production and longevity.

However, the changes proved to be problematic, as the high relief design led to issues during the striking process, causing excessive die breakage.

As a result, the Paquet Reverse was only used for a brief period in 1861, making coins with this feature particularly scarce.

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