1899-O $10 MS63 Certification #04319124, PCGS #8743
The incredible MS68 Eliasberg coin was earlier from the John Clapp collection. John Clapp purchased many of his coins directly from the mint in the year of issue. The quality of the Clapp coins is off the charts. But the interesting thing about Clapp is that he looked at coins they way we do today at a time when virtually no one was as quality conscious as we are today. The Clapp coins are enough to make one believe in time travel.
Gordon Wrubel and I purchased the Clapp-Eliasberg MS68 1899-O $10 in the Eliasberg sale for $24,000. We immediately sold it to a West Coast collector. The coin traded hands several times and Van Simmons and I were fortunate enough to handle it again in the late 1990s and sell it to an overseas collector where it still resides today.
Doug WinterThe 1899-O is the rarest New Orleans eagle after 1883. Its population has not increased as rapidly as other late date eagles from this mint. Part of this is due to its relatively low original mintage.
The 1899-O is the scarcest New Orleans eagle struck after 1883. It is usually seen in AU55 to MS60 grades. It becomes very scarce in properly graded MS62 and is very rare and underrated in MS63 with probably no more than a half dozen examples currently known. There are another two or three known in MS64 as well as a unique Superb Gem graded MS68 by PCGS.
STRIKE: The 1899-O is generally a well struck issue although most examples have some minor weakness on the high points of the obverse. Some of the stars are weak at the radial lines, especially the first two and the final three.
SURFACES: Almost every example I have seen is liberally abraded with clusters of marks in the fields. Some show mint-made coppery spots and other areas of discolorations.
LUSTER: The luster is frosty with a slightly grainy texture. It is possible to find an 1899-O with good luster but a number of coins are a bit on the dull side.
COLORATION: The natural coloration ranges from orange-gold to green-gold. A considerable number of the 1899-O eagles that I have seen have been dipped at one time and it is hard to find an example with attractive natural color.
EYE APPEAL: The level of eye appeal for this date tends to be lower than many New Orleans issues from the 1890’s. The typical 1899-O eagle is very bagmarked, somewhat dull and lacking good color. Flashy, appealing examples are very scarce and underrated.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no significant die characteristics noted on either the obverse or reverse of this issue.
MAJOR VARIETIES: There are two varieties known.
Variety One: The inside of the serif of the 1 in the date is repunched. The mintmark is close to the arrow feather and it tilts slightly to the right.
Variety Two: The 1 in the date is not repunched. Same reverse as on Variety One.