400 Esplanade Coin Album
Winter Variety 2. This large date variety employs a date punch intended for a silver dollar. A small hoard of these came out of Jackson, TN and likely accounts for the number of higher grade specimens known. As such, large date 54-o's are easier to locate in higher grade than the small date variety.
Winter variety 1. The date punch entered the date slightly higher than the other variety. Among all gold dollars struck in New Orleans, the 1853-O is the easiest to locate in all grades. With a mintage of 290,000 coins, it is tied with the 1851-O for the highest mintage gold dollar of this Mint.
Winter variety 2. The 1855-o is the final gold dollar issue from New Orleans and the only one that employs the Type Two or Small Indian Head design. Type One gold dollars had proven unpopular because the small size rendered it easily lost in pants pockets or purses. The Mint addressed this problem by increasing the planchet's diameter from 13 mm to 15 mm. As such, the planchet's depth was reduced to maintain weight and fineness standards. This measure had the unfortunate effect of making the coins extremely difficult to fully strike. Type Two dollars are generally seen with soft strikes, with the 1855-o perhaps better than average in this respect. Problems such as this caused the design to be abandoned after only three years. No gems are known to date.
Winter Variety 1. High date, wide fraction. The 39-o was the first gold coin produced at the New Orleans Mint, the only Classic Head issue, and the only gold issue with the mintmark on the obverse. Many were likely kept as souvenirs as a half dozen are known in near gem.
Winter variety 1. The mint mark is large and high compared to the other 2 varieties and diagonal lines are seen above ST in STATES. The strike is notably weak at the center, also a characteristic of this variety. From a mintage of 33,580, about 100-125 remain. This coin is probably a 62-63 technically with no visible wear, but the strike is very soft.
Winter variety 1. Ex: Bass. The one is buried in the dentils and is doubled at its base (Obv1). The Mint Mark is penetrated by arrow feathers and is centered over the fraction bar (RevA). The provenance is not on the holder but matches the Bass II 407 coin, formerly PCGS MS63 at the time of sale in October 1999. There is a copper spot on the reverse at the 2. Thank you Stephen Davidson for locating this coin.
Winter variety 4. Low date with recut 5. MM left touching claw. There are a number of underrated issues among New Orleans gold coins. The current issue would certainly be one of them. Long considered to be virtually unknown in Mint State grades, recently a few pieces have been certified in grades as high as MS64, yet coins as fine as the present example remain few and far between. This piece, unusual for the date, has a nearly full strike. Ex. Grand Lake Collection (HA 2/09).
Winter variety unmatched. The 1 is in the neck (Obv5) and the MM is left enough that no feathers puncture it (RevA) The 1854-o quarter eagle was another issue that the New Orleans Branch Mint produced with unusually high quality. With a mintage of 151k, only about 4 dozen coins are thought to exist in mint state.
Winter variety 2. The more common variety struck from lapped dies. The 1854-o is the first year of issue and the only $3 coin produced at the New Orleans branch mint. With a total mintage of 24,000, most of the coins were presumed to be released into circulation or melted. Only 2 mint state examples are currently slabbed by PCGS (an MS61 and an MS62). Though around 1000 are preserved in PCGS and NGC slabs, the popularity among us collectors make this a difficult date to locate in any grade.
Winter variety 3. MM is lower and tilted left, right shield line curves inward. Despite a mintage of 58,000, the 46-o is rarer than the 45-o (41,000). According to Doug Winter's book on New Orleans gold, only 4 or 5 uncs are known and the population figures at PCGS and NGC likely represent resubmission of the same few uncs. This coin has a lovely cameo effect with prooflike fields. Marks through the eagle's head and neck are on the holder.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. The 47-o is the rarest of the o-mint half eagles. According to Winter's reference, there may be only 40-50 known in all grades and in properly graded AU55 there are no more than a few pieces known. There is one MS61 at NGC and likely only one other coin that would grade AU58.
Winter variety 1. Ex. Bass. MM is lower and more right than the other variety. Previously, lot 435 in the Bowers and Merena Bass Sale May 2000 that realized 6900. Harry Bass purchased this coin from Paramount’s 1969 ANA sale, Lot 1925. The coin was previously described as "Lustrous bright yellow gold with exceptional surfaces although two tiny vertical scratches are noted, one in each loop of digit 8. Typical central weakness is noted, as often seen on this issue. A rare variety with doubled first 1 in date."
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. This coin has the look of a 61. It is heavily abraded, typical for the issue and I am unable to see any wear with magnification. Might resubmit this one at some point. From a mintage of 10k, the 92-o is 3rd rarest in total mintage but 13th rarest in high grade.
Winter variety 2. High date with no reverse die cracks, scarce variety. At 110,000, the 93-o is the second most abundant half eagle minted in New Orleans. It is the most available half eagle in MS. No gems are known at PCGS. Most are heavily abraded or impaired from being shipped loosely in bags, with a number going directly to Europe.
Winter variety 1. MM left c/w variety 2. The 1894-O was the final half eagle from New Orleans, except for the 1909-O Indian. The 1894-O has a mintage less than half the mintage of the 1909-O, but market factors (probably less demand because the number of coins in the Liberty $5 series) make this a suprisingly affordable issue. No survivors have been graded above MS63 to date.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. Only 2500 examples were produced in 1841, and out of that only 50-60 are estimated to have survived. To date, only one coin has graded as high as AU58 and no unc's are known. This coin is a nice evenly circulated example that appears wholly original, thus well deserving of that little green bean.
Winter variety 2. The o is lower than var 1. Var 1 uses the 41-o reverse. Only 27,400 eagles were produced in 1842. There are 3 known unc coins including only one (MS63) at PCGS. This coin is more available than the 41-o but very difficult to find in higher AU grades according to Winter.
Winter variety 2: Ex: Bass. The date is sharper than on V1, and the advanced cracks are not seen on the reverse. A grease spot is seen streaking across the reverse but not detracting. This coin was previously Bass IV:600. Though the coin has changed hands a time or two since the Bass sale, it was purchased from Doug Winter. Thank you Doug for finding great coins! Bass via Stanley Kesselman 2/71, earlier from Grant Pierce 5/65.
Winter variety 1. This date is notable for one of the most important coins produced by the New Orleans Mint...a remarkable NGC PR66 that traded for 1.5 mil!!! It is not known why this single proof was produced. My coin is housed in an old green holder. The luster is satiny and clean and this could be a candidate for an upgrade. Thanks again to Stephen Davidson for locating this coin.
Ex: SS New York. Winter variety 6. The SSNY was built in 1837 and shuttled between Galveston and New Orleans weekly until a gulf hurricane sank the ship on Sept 7, 1846 killing 17. 36 survived by holding onto ship debris for 2 days while awaiting rescue. The ship's manifest revealed a haul of 30-40k in gold, silver, and banknotes, but news of the shipwreck was soon lost among stories of the Mexican-American war battles. In 1990 a newspaper article appeared that ultimately led to discovery of the wreck. Local shrimpers' maps listed this area as a 'snag' and using only electronic fish finder equipment, the wreck was located by an oil field worker and a diver. It wasn't until 2007 that a full-scale recovery took place revealing treasure coins from all 3 Southern mints. Unfortunately the silver coins were etched or corroded by salt water, but the gold was largely unaffected. This date is known for several varieties including blundering of the date and repunching. The date is repunched up and far to the right with evidence of an 84 low and left of the date. A die crack extends from the rim through 45. There are die lines through TY of liberty. The mint mark is centered over the left upright of N. Formerly NGC MS61cac.
Winter Variety 1: normal date. The average 1855-o is heavily abraded and has lack luster eye appeal. This coin may be a rare exception. The surfaces are relatively smooth and ample luster remains in the protected areas. Typical weakness is noted centrally on the obverse, but the reverse is well impressed especially at the claw and left facing leg. There are only 2 known uncirculated coins, both MS61s in PCGS holders. Less than 100 of the original 18,000 are thought to have survived.
Winter variety 1: the only known variety. This coin has no known provenance and has never been to auction. It is a remarkably proof-like coin especially on the reverse and I suspect it may have been dipped at one point in time as the obverse is a bit bright. It has the look of a 61 with a trace of wear on the high points.
Winter variety 1: the only known variety. This coin has no known provenance, but on close inspection a lot of dirt is seen in the protected areas ie.- around the stars, within the numerals. I suspect this coin might be from the Tennessee Hoard of 1985...but no proof exists. This coin is so super-original with a beautiful matte finish. It is very minimally abraded just as the pictures show and in my opinion is quite conservatively graded.
Winter variety 1. Ex. SS Republic. In October 1865 after the Civil war ended, the ill-fated sidewheel steamship left New York en route to New Orleans with gold, silver, and commercial cargo to resupply the depleted Southern economy. The ship sank one week later 100 miles SE of Savannah, GA on October 25 in a hurricane. Passengers and crew escaped, but the ship and her booty were lost. In 2003, Odyssey Marine Exploration located the wreck and began the process of recovery. Some amazing rarities came out of the treasure, including the 2 finest known 59-o $10s. Sea salvaged silver coins from the wreck were etched by decades of exposure to salt water. However, the gold coins were largely unaffected. This coin is amazingly well preserved though abraded. I cannot find rub on this coin, but perhaps muted luster on the obverse prevents a higher designation. The protected areas are bright and prooflike, and the reverse is easily MS62. The 1859-o is the rarest "No motto" eagle with a total mintage of 2300 and survival is estimated at 45-55 coins.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. The mintage of the 1860-o was an anemic 11,100. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth call this issue "an underrated sleeper in the series." In addition, it concludes a 20-year run of O-mint gold eagles, interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War. Eagle production at the New Orleans mint would not resume until the mint was reopened in 1879. This coin has a lot of luster and mirroring that appear dull and dark with amateur photography skills. The coin is nicely struck and not too baggy. Also note that a diagonal line extending through the shield is on the slab itself, not the coin. To date (summer '09) only 1 submission has achieved unc status at PCGS, compared to a mere 4 at NGC.
Winter variety 1. Ex: Admiral Collection. Definitely not a 55...already at least a half dozen from this collection are in a holder 1 or 2 levels higher. This iPhone image is not representative of this coin's proof-like beauty and scratches/haziness are on the holder. There is no wear and there is no visible difference in this coin and the professionally photographed 80-o MS61 in this collection.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. The New Orleans Mint was given the task of mass producing silver dollars after re-opening in 1879. This led to diminshed or even non-production of other issues. The 10,820 mintage of the 1882o Eagle is robust compared with preceding years. However, few were set aside making mint state examples an extreme rarity. Probably less than 10 exist at the MS60 level and only 2 are known as high as MS63. Most of the higher grade examples have been located in the 90s from small hoards found in Europe. This coin has no noticable wear to the unaided eye and impressive prooflike fields. The strike is far better than average and actually impeccably sharp at the center.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. The 94-o has a mintage higher than the previous 3 issues combined, yet it is a decidedly rarer coin in higher uncirculated grades. This issue was obviously needed for commercial usage as many circulated pieces are known. Only one gem is known at NGC and only one has graded higher than MS63 at PCGS. This is a later die state example with faint die cracks running through the reverse lettering and obverse stars.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. Apparrently a handful of these were set aside at the time of issue including the Eliasberg-Clapp coin acquired directly from the mint for face value. There is at least one MS67 in addition to a couple of MS66s. This is an issue that is generally regarded as harder to locate in lower grades through lower mint state grades.
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. With a mintage of 112,771, the 1903-o is the most common eagle from the New Orleans Mint. It is also the only gold coin issued from the mint that year. A nice MS63 coin is obtainable with a little patience, though it becomes an extreme rarity in gem (1 in 66 at PCGS, 1 in 65 at NGC).
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. Hundreds of these have been located overseas in the last decade according to Doug Winter. There is one interesting coin for this issue, possibly a specimen or proof strike. A note accompanies the coin, "First Gold Coined 1904, W.J.Bromphy, Coiner US Mint, $10.00 and $5.00" Interestingly, no gold half eagles are currently known for this date?!?!
Winter variety 1. The 1852-o is the most available New Orleans double eagle in higher grades. There are 12-18 surviving uncirculated coins according to Doug Winter's book, and AU coins are available with some patience. Most coins are rather baggy and heavily marked, but not this one. No interesting varities are known.
Winter variety 1: the only known variety. From a mintage of 8,000, probably 70-80 remain. None of these are full unc's despite a few in NGC60 holders according to Winter. Overall, this issue is considered the 3rd rarest among New Orleans double eagles. This coin is typically struck for the issue. It is however very original and better that the pictures provided.
Winter variety 1: the only known variety. The New Orleans mint cranked out 30k in 1857 after the total mintage for the previous 3 years amounted to a mere 13,500. As such, this is one of the easier issues to obtain especially in lower grades. At the AU level, it becomes more difficult. Only 2 uncs known at PCGS at the end of 2016.
Winter variety 1: the only known variety. The 1859-O is the 4th rarest double eagle from this mint and it rivals the 55-O for status as the rarest collectible double eagle from this mint. Only 9,100 were struck and around 75-100 are known. Of these, fewer than two dozen grade AU. From Doug Winter,"I doubt if more than three or four have what could be termed as “positive” eye appeal. The typical 1859-O has been stripped and shows excessive abrasions. Pieces with original color and skin are rare, rare, rare!! It has been years since I’ve seen an 1859-O which I’ve liked. This coin? I LOVE it… Housed in an old green label holder and clearly undergraded by today’s standards; I think virtually anyone viewing this coin will call it a solid AU55." Hmm, 'nuff said!
Winter variety 1. The only known variety. This coin is tied for finest known from a paltry mintage of 6600. It is estimated that fewer than 100 survive in all grades. This coin is fresh from France and highly original. In hand, it is highly prooflike and the darker areas of these images attempt to capture that. This issue is plagued by bagginess and this coin is no exception. However, that does not detract from its importance and beauty. It is only a trace of friction from a full unc.