1857-S Liberty Head Double Eagle. Variety-20A. Spiked Shield. With One Pinch of California Gold Dust. MS-64 (PCGS). This is a gorgeous Choice Mint State example of one of the most popular and widely collected issues in the Type I Liberty Head double eagle series. Fully struck with intense frosty luster, both sides are enhanced by vivid golden-rose patina. As a technically superior and visually appealing 1857-S double eagle, this coin will have great appeal for gold type and date collectors.This 1857-S double eagle traces its pedigree to the treasure recovered from the <em>S.S. Central America</em> shipwreck. Unlike in the East where paper money was readily accepted in commerce, gold and silver coins were preferred in the West. The coins struck at the San Francisco Mint, especially in its early years, entered circulation and remained there. This was especially true for double eagles which served as one of the principal denominations for larger transactions for generations. For many years, the best example of a Type I double eagle struck at the San Francisco Mint would be in the AU range. That all changed with the discovery of the wreck of the <em>S.S. Central America</em> in the late 1980s. Along with gold ingots, nuggets, and other coins, the steamship was carrying a shipment of some 7,000 freshly struck 1857-S double eagles in its hold. These high-quality double eagles have been eagerly sought, not only by double eagle specialists, but also by enthusiasts of Gold Rush history and shipwreck lore. This lovely historic double eagle will certainly please the successful bidder.This coin is housed in a special large size PCGS holder that also includes one pinch of California gold dust. The back of the PCGS insert features the signature of Bob Evans, chief scientist and historian of the S.S. <em>Central America</em> treasure. Under Evans signature is the note: "I certify this coin and gold dust were recovered from the S.S. <em>Central America</em>." Also included in this lot is a cardboard Ship of Gold presentation box designed to house the large size PCGS holder, as well as a Certificate of Authenticity from David Hall in his capacity as founder of PCGS. <em>The box and certificate are available to the winning bidder upon request to Stacks Bowers Galleries at the close of the auction</em>. From the Q. David Bowers Collection. Earlier ex S.S. <em>Central America</em>.