Condition Census 1856-O Double Eagle From the Diocese of Buffalo Collection1856-O AU 53 NGC. One of the classic rarities in U.S. gold coinage, the 1856-O is the rarest gold coin struck in the New Orleans mint as well as being the rarest regular issue Coronet design double eagle. The original mintage was a mere 2,250 pieces with the estimated number of survivors ranging from 10-12 (Breen) to as high as 15-20 (Winter). While this is definitely a Condition Census coin, it is not listed on Winter's Condition Census. Apparently this piece, as with all the Diocese gold coins, has been off the market for a number of years and has been largely forgotten by today's specialists.
Medium greenish-gold color, as with all known specimens, the fields retain a bit of the always-seen prooflikeness with the surfaces overall exuding a brightness not usually seen on gold coins. The striking details are uncommonly strong with only slight softness on the hair below the coronet and in the oval of stars on the reverse. Two abrasions serve to identify this important coin: the first is a scrape in the exergual area above and to the right of the 6 of the date, and the other is a horizontal scratch in the field to the right of the eagle's head. An important, high grade example of this near-legendary rarity in the double eagle series. (NGC ID# 268Z, PCGS# 8918)
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