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All Posts Tagged With: "New Orleans Mint"

The Finest New Orleans Double Eagle Gold Coin to be Sold at FUN

The upcoming 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction features what is probably the finest New Orleans twenty of any date. Easily the finest known 1852-O double eagle, this Gem has been off the market since the early 1970s, when our consignor purchased it through a private treaty transaction with Stack’s.

This coin has long been unavailable for study by most modern researchers, although Doug Winter was aware of it when he wrote the first edition of New Orleans Mint Gold Coins: 1839-1909 in 1992. At that time, Winter considered the specimen in the Dallas Bank Collection the finest known 1852-O, with this coin listed in the number two spot. Like the present coin, the Dallas Bank specimen had only been examined by a few specialists during the 1990s.

After the collection was sold in 2001, Winter had the opportunity to view the coin, and he determined that the present specimen is actually superior to the Dallas Bank example. Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auction Galleries, had the opportunity to study this coin many years ago, and he always believed it was special. Halperin states that this coin is “By far the best condition New Orleans twenty I have ever seen.” Discounting the SP63 PCGS 1856-O double eagle, a coin that many consider a full proof, no other New Orl eans Mint twenty has been certified in any grade above MS63 by NGC or PCGS.

In 1852 the New Orleans Mint produced a generous mintage of 190,000 Liberty Head double eagles, largely due to the influx of gold from the California gold fields. Because of its substantial mintage, the 1852-O is one of the more available Type One double eagles from the New Orleans Mint. Winter estimates a surviving population of 900-1100 pieces in all grades. Most examples seen are in lower circulated grades, and the issue becomes scarce in AU55 and quite rare in Mint State. Due to the availability of the 1852-O in AU, the date is always in demand from mintmark type collectors, seeking a high grade example for their collections.

Of course, the Miller collection coin is in a class of its own as a condition rarity. No 1852-O double eagle of comparable quality has been offered at auction since the Dallas Bank specimen came on the market, nearly a decade ago. In 2006, a PCGS graded MS62 specimen realized $48,875 as lot 5580 of the Denver Signature Auction in 2006, but even that coin clearly lacked the quality of this magnificent Gem, which grades a full three points higher.

As the finest known specimen of the date, with claims to the title of finest New Orleans business strike double eagle, it might be fair to compare this coin to the finest known specimens of other issues offered at auction recently. Considered as a date, the 1852-O is not in the same rarity category as the 1856-O, the classic rarity of the series, but the rarity of the 1852-O in MS65 is just as great as the rarity of the 1856-O in SP63. (more…)

The 1883-O Gold Eagle Coin Becomes Trendy (and Spendy…)

By Doug Winter –

With little fanfare, the 1883-O eagle has become the coin du jour in the rare date gold market. This rare date, which for years was a cult item that was seemingly overlooked by all except for a small cadre of specialists, is suddenly a coin that is bringing big bucks. What’s behind the 83-O buzz?

1883-O_10_ha_011310Let’s back up a bit and discuss some background about this issue. The 1883-O is the rarest New Orleans eagle with an original mintage of a ridiculously low 800. In my recent book on New Orleans gold, I estimate that there are three to four dozen known. This includes a single coin in Uncirculated (an NGC MS61 that I sold a few years ago) and perhaps a dozen that grade About Uncirculated.

For many years, the 1883-O eagle had sold for $10,000 to $15,000 in Extremely Fine grades when it was available. I do remember the Eliasberg coin (graded EF45 by PCGS) selling via private treaty around four years ago for $20,000 and saying at the time: “Man, that’s a lot of money for that coin!”

Things started to change for this date in the early part of 2009. The Heritage 2/09 coin, graded EF45 by PCGS, sold for an exceptional $29,388. I can remember right after the sale, a client of mine, who I had sold a lovely NGC AU58 example to a few years earlier for not much more money, said “Guess I got a good deal, no?”

Then came the Heritage 9/09: 1667 coin. It was graded NGC AU50 by NGC and, in my opinion, it wasn’t an especially nice piece for the grade. It sold for $43,125. After this lot hammered, I was really intrigued by the new levels and anxiously awaited the next auction appearance for the 1883-O eagle. (more…)