Home > Auction-Archive > Private, Territorial and Other > Private and Territorial Gold  > Unique 1855 Wass, Molitor & Co. Large Head Gold Twenty Dollar PCGS AU-50 CAC (Ex. Carter Collection)

  > Back to Search/Browse Page

This coin has been selected for the GreatCollections HotList

Unique 1855 Wass, Molitor & Co. Large Head Gold Twenty Dollar PCGS AU-50 CAC (Ex. Carter Collection)

Bid history:56 bids (view)
Time left:Ended
(Sun, Aug 15, 2021 08:15:05 PM Pacific Time)
Winning bidder:bidder 12
Winning bid:
with Buyer's Fee)

GC Item ID:


Payments accepted:
PayPal and Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), Check/Money Order, eCheck, Wire
(PayPal/Credit Card - Invoices Under $10,000)
U.S. and International (view rates)
Item activity:
4467 page views
116 GC members tracking
Your personal note:
Trust Greatcollections

  • Imaged professionally in-house
  • Full service auction professionals
  • The lowest fees for buying or selling

Additional Images (Click to enlarge)
Item Information
GC Item ID:1023567
Grading Service:
GC Item Title:Unique 1855 Wass, Molitor & Co. Large Head Gold Twenty Dollar PCGS AU-50 CAC (Ex. Carter Collection)
Certification Number:
Industry Number
Description:Excessively rare 1855 $20 Wass, Molitor & Co. Large Head Twenty Dollar, (K-8a). PCGS AU-50 CAC. Unique. One of only four known Large Head Wass Molitor Twenty Dollar coins, and unique by variety. It is the only example approved by CAC. Listed in A Guide Book of U.S. Coins, commonly referred to as the Red Book, as a unique variety. When this coin last sold in 2014 it was discovered that unlike the other three examples known, it used the reverse die of the Small Head Wass Molitor Twenty. The other three used a slightly different reverse die.

This specimen is essentially the only collectable Large Head Wass Molitor double eagle available to collectors. Of the other three known specimens, one is in the Smithsonian Institution, one was stolen in the Willis H. DuPont robbery of 1967 and its location is unknown at this time, and the third was also stolen in 1967 from the Yale University collection but is believed to have been recovered.

An 1855 $20 Large Head Twenty Dollar has appeared at public auction only seven times since 1896, including this appearance. Of those seven appearances, six are of this coin. The lone auction appearance of a different Wass Molitor Large Head Twenty occurred in 1929 in the Thomas Elder sale of the Lawrence collection, lot 1406, where it realized the sum of $7,000. To put that into perspective, the Lawrence sale also included the following lots: an 1855 Kellogg $50 in choice proof at $2,150 (14 known) and an attractive AU $20 1860 Clark Gruber Mountain Twenty at $900 (10-12 known).

Until the 1929 Lawrence sale of the 1855 Large Head Wass Molitor Twenty Dollar, the previous record price for any coin, was the sale of the Stickney example of the Brasher Doubloon in June of 1907 by Henry Chapman for $6,200. This auction record stood for twenty-two years until it was bested by the Wass Molitor Large Head Twenty Dollar at $7,000 in 1929! The same Brasher Doubloon sold recently for $9.36 million at the Partrick auction by Heritage in January 2021.

The Wass Molitor Large Head Twenty Dollar has been missing from nearly every major collection of pioneer gold including: Zabriskie, Garrett, Nygren, Eliasberg, Kaufman and Beck. This example is Ex: Carter 1984.

Ex: Hayes (1896), Virgil Brand, Roach (1944), Geiss (1947), Amon Carter (1984), Riverboat (2014), Colorado Native (2014 to present).
Coin Information
Coin Series:

Wass Molitor & Co. $20 Large Head Gold

Coin Designer:Wass, Molitor & Co.
Mintage:No Recorded Mintage, 4 Examples Known

Sales Tax

Sales tax:Sales Tax is only charged on this item for residents of California if your invoice total of numismatic/bullion items is less than $1,500.

About GreatCollections Certified Coin & Currency Auctions

GreatCollections was founded by Ian Russell and Raeleen Endo to improve how coins and paper money are sold at auction. While there are many places to buy and sell coins and paper money, very few ensure that the transaction is conducted in a safe and secure manner while keeping both parties confidential. Since 2010, GreatCollections has auctioned over 950,000 certified coins and paper money totaling over $500 million.

GreatCollections offers collectors, dealers and professionals an extensive selection of certified coins and paper money ranging in price from $25 up to over $100,000 certified by the leading third-party grading companies including PCGS, NGC, PMG and ANACS. GreatCollections is also the leading auction house of CAC approved coins. All coins and currency have been professionally listed, reviewed and imaged by GreatCollections expert staff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at +1-949-679-4180 or via e-mail to [email protected].