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Mint State 1909-O Half Eagle
Only O-Mint Indian Five
Sought-After Low-Mintage Key

1909-O $5 MS61 PCGS. CAC. Variety 1. Though its half eagle and double eagle gold coins are plenty famous today, for much of its post-Civil War history, the U.S. Mint in New Orleans was the "Silver Dollar Mint." Reopened in 1879 after the end of Reconstruction and closed in 1909, New Orleans saw its greatest use in striking the Morgan dollars mandated by the Bland-Allison Act. In fact, for the years 1880 to 1890, it coined the silver dollar denomination to the exclusion of all others. After that New Orleans added minor silver coinage and ten dollar gold eagles to its output, but the end of the Morgan dollar in 1904 and the outdated facilities made the New Orleans Mint less and less viable. Coinage ceased after the 1909 issues and did not resume before minting operations were decommissioned in 1911.

It is precisely because the half eagles and double eagles struck in post-Civil War New Orleans were such small afterthoughts that they are popular with modern collectors. One such issue is the 1909-O half eagle with its self-consciously modern sunken-relief design that suggests a future in which the antiquated New Orleans Mint had no place. Only 34,200 pieces were struck in the last year of operations, and its status as a one-year type coin makes it one of the most popular New Orleans issues of any denomination.

The present coin is a very scarce Mint State example, with well-detailed design elements and brightly lustrous surfaces that display mingled shades of green and orange-gold patina, with occasional highlights of rose. A scattering of minor contact marks on both sides explains the grade. Population: 23 in 61, 40 finer (4/13).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 25ZK, PCGS# 8515)

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Auction Dates
June, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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