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    Description

    1879-O Liberty Eagle, MS60+
    Low-Mintage Branch Mint Key
    Condition Census Example

    1879-O $10 MS60+ NGC. Variety 1. Only 1,500 Liberty eagles were struck at the New Orleans Mint in 1879, the second-lowest production total of the New Orleans series. The coins were released into commerce and circulated widely for decades before collecting high denomination branch mint gold became popular in this country in the late 1930s. Few, if any high-quality examples were saved by contemporary collectors. Accordingly, series specialists consider the 1879-O an important key and one of the most difficult Southern gold issues to locate, especially in high grade. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population at 75-100 pieces in all grades and the leading grading services have combined to certify only four specimens in Mint State, with two MS61 examples the finest seen (11/19).

    Surprisingly, the 1879-O was underappreciated until recent times. In his catalog of the Atwater Collection (6/1946), in the section on New Orleans Mint eagles, Fort Worth coin dealer B. Max Mehl described the coin in lot 1536 as:

    "1879 Extremely fine with traces of semi-proof surface. Only 1500 minted. Rare. Not in the Bell Collection. Catalogs up to $75.00. Another "sleeper." A much under-rated coin. While it catalogs for only $75.00, collectors who know value it at $200.00 to $250.00."



    Of course, prices have skyrocketed in recent years, as collectors have become aware of the elusive nature of the 1879-O. We can find no auction record for a coin in MS60+ condition, but the MS61 PCGS specimen in lot 4868 of the Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 6/2014) realized $88,125.

    The coin offered here surfaced in Europe in 2016 and has no prior auction appearances that we are aware of. It occupies the third position in Doug Winter's list of Significant Pieces Known. The design elements are sharply detailed for a New Orleans issue, with full radials on the stars and fine detail in Liberty's curls. Many grade consistent contact marks are evident on both sides. The rich yellow and rose-gold surfaces retain much of their original mint luster, with flashes of prooflike reflectivity in sheltered areas. This coin will be a welcome addition to the finest collection of Southern gold. Census: 1 in 60 (1 in 60+), 1 finer (11/19).
    From The "So Cal" Collection. (Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 265P, PCGS# 8685)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View all of [The "So Cal" Collection ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 373

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