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    Description

    1899-O Liberty Eagle, Stunning MS68+
    Purchased Directly From the New Orleans Mint
    The Single Finest O-Mint Gold Coin Known
    Ex: Clapp, Eliasberg

    1899-O $10 MS68+ PCGS. CAC. Ex: Eliasberg-Simpson. The 1899-O Liberty eagle is a coveted rarity in any grade finer than MS62. In Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, third edition, Doug Winter writes:

    "The 1899-O remains the scarcest New Orleans eagle minted after 1883. This date has become popular in recent years, and high-grade examples (in this case MS63 and finer) have sold for hefty sums at auction and via private treaty."



    For most collectors, the finest accessible examples of this issue grade MS64 (five coins at PCGS and one at NGC), although a lone MS65 NGC coin appeared once in a 2009 Bowers and Merena auction. But none of these pieces are truly the finest 1899-O eagles known. That distinguished rank falls to just one coin, certified MS68+ PCGS -- the coin offered here.

    J.M. Clapp purchased this coin directly from the New Orleans Mint in 1899, and it remained in the Clapp estate until 1942, when Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. acquired the entire Clapp family collection. It then remained flawlessly preserved in the Eliasberg Collection, unknown to the numismatic world at large, until October 1982, when Bowers and Ruddy auctioned the Eliasberg gold pieces. It was given a grade of MS67 by the cataloger, an incredibly high rating for the pre-certification era. The coin appeared once more, still uncertified, in a 1988 Stack's sale, heralded as the finest 1899-O eagle known, and has not been offered publicly since.

    This piece is not only the finest 1899-O Liberty ten known, it is, in the worlds of specialist Doug Winter, "the single finest New Orleans gold coin I have ever seen." Essentially flawless original mint luster cascades unhindered across orange-gold, rose, and lilac surfaces, glistening over razor-sharp devices and seamlessly rolling through the fields in a captivating cartwheel effect. New Orleans gold pieces are virtually unheard of in any grade even close to this, let alone at this level. Gold circulated in the South, and of the contemporary collectors who did pursue gold coinage, few were keenly interested in the branch mint issues. One of these rare individuals was J.M. Clapp, and his acquisition of this piece directly from the Mint, followed by nearly a century of careful storage where it remained essentially untouched and out of the public eye, is all that has allowed this coin to survive in the condition it has. For New Orleans gold collectors, there is no more important opportunity than that which this piece presents, appearing here at auction for the first time in more than three decades. Population: 1 in 68 (1 in 68+), 0 finer. CAC: 1 in 68, 0 finer (8/20).
    Purchased directly from the New Orleans Mint by J.M. Clapp (1899); John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (1942); Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 819; Les Fox via David Akers private treaty; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 10/1988), lot 139.(Registry values: N1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 267K, PCGS# 8743)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2020
    17th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,450

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