David Akers (1975/88): The 1852-O is the second most common O-Mint Double Eagle after the 1851-O. However, it just might be the most common of the 13 O-Mint issues in full mint state. At least I have seen more uncs of this date than I have of any other, including the 1851-O, and it is also the case that the finest O-Mint $20 I have ever seen was an 1852-O, a real gem that is now in a prominent Dallas Bank collection. Still, true uncs of this date must neccessarily be considered rare and the quality one is most likely to find is VF or EF. As is the case with all the Type I O-Mint twenties, most 1852-O's are semi-prooflike or prooflike.Doug Winter: The 1852-O is the second most available double eagle from the New Orleans mint in terms of overall rarity, and the most available in higher grades. Like the 1851-O, it is fairly easy to locate in the lower circulated grades. It becomes scarce in AU55, rare in AU58 and it is very rare in Uncirculated. In Uncirculated, it is a rare coin and it is always in great demand among type collectors seeking a single high graded example from this mint.
STRIKE: The quality of strike varies. There are some that are well struck, with good definition on the hair and feathers. But many have weakness on the lower curls (below the ear of Liberty) and the corresponding reverse. It is also common to find 1852-O double eagles that have mint-made beveling of the rims as seen on Dahlonega half eagles of this era.
SURFACES: The surfaces on the great majority of 1852-O double eagles are very heavily abraded. There are also a number that have mint-made planchet chips or slightly defective planchets. On the rare occasion that a clean, choice example is offered for sale, it usually brings a strong premium relative to published price levels.
LUSTER: More 1852-O double eagles show semi-prooflike to prooflike surfaces than any other New Orleans double eagle. There are some that are so deeply reflective that they actually resemble Proofs. If they are not heavily abraded, these coins can command strong premiums. Examples are also known with frosty luster.
COLORATION: The natural coloration is a medium to deep green-gold. On some, lighter yellow-gold color is present. It is very hard to find an 1852-O double eagle with original color as most have been cleaned or dipped.
EYE APPEAL: This date has average to below-average eye appeal. Many are not well struck and nearly all are excessively abraded. There are some extremely attractive 1852-O double eagles known but most are off the market in tightly held collections.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: On the reverse, the A in STATES has been patched.
MAJOR VARIETIES: I am not aware of any significant varieties of this date, but given the mintage figure it is likely that a few positional varieties exist.
Variety One: The date is small and placed midway between the truncation and denticles. The 5 is closed, with the ball nearly touching the upper portion of this digit. The reverse is the same as used on the 1851-O.
Stack’s, sold privately in the 1970s - Henry Miller Collection - Heritage 1/2011:5243, $276,000
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