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Gem 1843-O Small Letters Half Eagle--Tied For Finest Known

1843-O $5 Small Letters MS65 PCGS. The mintage that is generally quoted for the Small Letters 1843-O is 19,075 pieces. Breen's quote about this issue from his 1988 Encyclopedia remains true today: "Very rare in EF; Ex. rare above. A few "seawater UNCs;" prohibitively rare full UNC." Only eight Uncirculated coins have been certified in the various grades of Mint State with this piece tied with a single NGC coin for finest known. (Of course, it is always possible that the NGC coin could be this same coin that was crossed over to PCGS and has not been removed from the Census Report). This is definitely not one of the "seawater Uncs" Breen referred to that were salvaged from a Confederate transport. The surfaces are bright and sparkle with mint luster just as they did when John Tyler was president. As with many branch mint coins from this era, this coin has fields that are borderline reflective, which give it even more vibrancy and "life." The striking details are also very well defined with only slight softness noted on Liberty's hair curls, the eagle's neck, and claws. As one would expect for an MS65, there are no distracting blemishes on either side. For pedigree purposes, however, we note a diagonal mark in the obverse field out from stars 1 and 2, and another between stars 5 and 6.
Astute collectors have begun to appreciate the absolute as well as the conditional scarcity of New Orleans gold. For some reason, it has not received the notoriety or the press of Charlotte and Dahlonega gold. Yet, it is every bit as rare as its C and D-mint counterparts. This amazing coin is an opportunity awaiting a savvy collector who appreciates the finest and the rarest while also recognizing an undervalued issue.(#8217) (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 25T5, PCGS# 8217)

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Auction Dates
May, 2005
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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