"As Recovered" 1857-S Double Eagle
1857-S $20 gold. Heavy encrustation on each side. Although the date and portions of the obverse design are visible through the encrustation, the mintmark and other reverse details are not visible. This is almost certainly a San Francisco Mint issue.
Heavy black, brown, and orange encrustation includes imbedded wood fibers. This is a most impressive example illustrating the appearance of the treasure at the time of recovery. A small portion of the lower right reverse remains visible in bright yellow gold with faint lilac, suggesting prooflike surfaces and high quality. Another splendid display item, a coin with a story.