Doug Winter: The population of 1893-O eagles has skyrocketed in the past decade. Around 1993-95, a hoard of dozens of low-end Uncirculated pieces entered the market. Ten years later a much greater number of coins were found. These tend to be nicer quality than the first hoard and are characterized by rich orange-gold color.
The 1893-O has become one of the most common New Orleans eagles. It can be found with no effort in grades up to and including MS61. Lightly abraded, attractive MS62’s are moderately scarce and properly graded MS63’s are rare. I have never seen or heard of a piece that graded higher then MS63.
STRIKE: This is a relatively well struck issue. On some coins the curls around the face of Liberty and the neck feathers on the eagle are not fully brought up. A number have weakness on the radial lines in the stars.
SURFACES: The surfaces are always liberally abraded although not as much so as on the 1892-O and the 1895-O, which are the two scruffiest of the late date New Orleans eagles.
LUSTER: The luster is frosty and is better than that seen on other dates of this era. There are a small number of semi-prooflike and fully prooflike coins known. These are usually heavily abraded and grade no better than MS60 to MS61.
COLORATION: The coloration is above average. Many 1893-O eagles have very rich orange-gold and green-gold hues. There are still a sufficient number of undipped pieces around to satisfy most collectors.
EYE APPEAL: The eye appeal for this date is better than for the 1892-O. The typical coin is lustrous and nicely toned but with numerous abrasions in the fields. Many of the comparatively high grade pieces (in this case MS63) that have recently come on the market are characterized by a definite “European” look with rich color and dark toning on the highlights.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are a number of small diagonal lines through the letters in LIBERTY.
MAJOR VARIETIES: There is a single variety known.
Variety One: The date is about midway between the truncation and the denticles. The 8 and the 9 are sometimes weaker than the other digits. The mintmark is similar in size to the 1892-O but it is not quite as squat. It is in a similar position.