1871 Liberty Head Eagle. AU-58 (NGC). Vibrant orange-gold coloration paints the surfaces of this flashy and near-Mint example. The fields are reflective and lustrous, imparting a prooflike complexion that is most dramatic on the reverse. The devices display a lovely frosty texture with just the faintest trace of friction across the highest points. A dark striation in the planchet in the obverse field near star 5 provides a helpful pedigree marker to trace this piece through future cabinets. With a mintage of only 1,790 pieces, the 1871 eagle is one of a series of low production runs from the 1870s. Not long ago, it was considered unknown above the EF level, and David Akers did not know of any Uncirculated examples when writing in 1988. Today, most surviving specimens are still found below the EF level and only a single MS-60 example has been certified by either service. Advanced collectors of Liberty Head gold should be prepared for determined competition for this under-appreciated rarity, as it is tied for the finest certified by NGC.