AU 53 1859-O Eagle, A Landmark Rarity Among U.S. Gold Issues1859-O $10 AU 53 PCGS. Were it not for the 1883-O, the 1859-O would be the rarest eagle from the New Orleans Mint. In fact, some scholars (most notably Akers) asserts that the '59-O is the rarest O-mint Liberty eagle. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that our offering of the present AU survivor is just one of the many reasons underlying the importance of this sale. This is a noticeably prooflike example that mellows slightly over the open areas of the fields and the highpoints of the devices. There are scattered abrasions on both sides, as befits the grade, but we stress that the surfaces are uncommonly free of sizeable distractions. With original green-gold and copper-gold coloration and remaining definition that does full justice to the AU level, we anticipate significant bidder competition when this piece comes up for sale in Philadelphia. We have handled the following AU 53 1859-O eagles, all of which qualify for low-end Condition Census:
Ex: Four Landmark Collections (Bowers & Merena, 3/89), lot 5593; October 1995 Long Beach Sale (Heritage, 10/95), lot 6314, where it realized $14,375. Part of the Warren Miller Collection in the latter sale, this coin is identifiable by an abrasion at the back of the truncation of the neck.
Ex: The September Sale (Superior, 9/97), lot 2987, where it realized $15,400; Chicago 1999 ANA Sale (Heritage, 8/99), lot 8114, where it realized $13,800. This coin, which was offered as part of the Ronald W. Brown Acadiana Collection in our 1999 ANA Sale, is identifiable by an abrasion inside star 9.
Ex: Stack's; Harry W. Bass, Jr. (11/5/70); Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection II (Bowers & Merena, 10/99), lot 1471, where it realized $11,500. The present example, and identifiable by a nearly horizontal abrasion in the reverse field between the two lowest arrowheads. (NGC ID# 2642, PCGS# 8629)
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