1868-S Liberty Head Double Eagle. MS-60 (PCGS). Lovely rose-gold patina blends with frosty mint luster on both sides of this well struck, originally preserved coin. Consistent with other years during the 1860s, the production of double eagles at the San Francisco Mint was immense, dwarfing that of the Philadelphia facility. In 1868, some 837,500 examples were coined amounting to $16,750,000 in face value. Most of these entered into the channels of commerce along the Pacific Coast, where gold was used in day-to-day transactions as freely as paper money was used back East. Many others were likely shipped overseas and melted. Q. David Bowers estimated a population of just five to eight different Uncirculated examples when he wrote his Guide Book of Double Eagles in 2004. This estimate agrees nicely with David W. Akers 1982 research, as the latter was only able to find six examples cataloged as Mint State in a survey of more than 400 major auction sales. More recently, it would appear that several additional MS-60/61 quality examples have come onto the market although, like its identically dated Philadelphia Mint counterpart, the 1868-S remains a major rarity in Mint State. From the Fairmont Collection.