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Seldom Offered 1857-O Ten Dollar, AU531857-O $10 AU53 NGC. As of (12/08), no amount of money could buy a certified Mint State 1857-O eagle--such a coin simply does not exist. The Uncirculated coin listed in the Garrett-Guth reference currently resides in an NGC AU58 holder. In fairness, that example was sold as "BU" as part of the October 1994 Stack's sale of the James A. Stack, Sr. Collection, where it realized $26,400 and still holds the auction record for the issue.
Understanding the rarity of the 1857-O ten is not difficult. Only 5,500 pieces were struck to begin with and those coins--as with most New Orleans gold issues--entered circulation. During the various gold melts of the ensuing decades, the 1857-O eagle was simply a bullion coin and met with the same fiery fate as much more common coins. Numismatists of yesteryear were apt to collect by date only, and even those collectors would have been wealthy by the standards of their time to pursue a set of ten dollar gold pieces. As a result, collectors today must compete for one of 15 or so Almost Uncirculated specimens, which are seldom offered at auction.
Both sides of this brassy-gold AU53 specimen display luster in the recessed areas. The design elements are well impressed, save for the usual softness in the star centers. A few small marks on each side are within the confines of a coin that has seen some light circulation.
From The Grand Lake Collection.(Registry values: N2998) (NGC ID# 263U, PCGS# 8623)
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