1854-S Liberty Head Double Eagle. MS-65 (PCGS). CAC. Outstanding golden-yellow surfaces are enhanced by lovely mint frost. This is a sharply struck coin with most design elements fully rendered. Interesting peripheral die cracks over the lower left reverse and in the date area on the obverse are as made. The most useful identifiers for provenance are a pair of light alloy spots on the bridge of Libertys nose and in the field in front of the forehead. After several years of political wrangling, the mint in San Francisco was finally opened for business in March 1854. The mint was first located in the offices of the highly regarded private coiners Moffat & Company at 608-610 Commercial Street until 1874 when it was replaced by a larger facility better suited for mass production. The first coins struck in 1854 were the five main gold denominations: the gold dollar, quarter eagle, half eagle, eagle, and the double eagle. A total of 141,468 $20 gold pieces were struck that first year, all of which were promptly absorbed into the regional economy and would remain there for years. Because of the coins heavy use in a cash-starved West, this is a comparatively scarce issue that is almost always found in low grades. It was not until a group of 1854-S double eagles were found on the wreck of the <em>Yankee Blade</em> that any examples in higher grades became available. Even so, this issue is scarce in Mint State with Q. David Bowers accounting for only 200 to 300 Uncirculated examples in numismatic hands when he wrote his <em>Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins</em> in 2004. Gems such as this are of the utmost rarity, and none have been certified finer than MS-65. With the exceptional quality and eye appeal that is to be expected from the Pogue cabinet, this is a coin that will appeal to both advanced gold type collectors and double eagle enthusiasts. From the D. Brent Pogue Collection. Earlier, from Heritages Dallas, TX Signature Coin Auction of October 2008, lot 3013.