The 1879-O is the second rarest With Motto eagle from the New Orleans mint and it has a tiny original mintage figure of 1,500 coins. There are an estimated 60-70 known with nearly all of these having ”problems” which lower their eye appeal. Most 1879-O eagles are very abraded and range in grade from EF40 to AU50. Properly graded AU55 to AU58 examples are very rare and I know of just a single Uncirculated coin (an NGC MS61 which I handled over a decade ago).
This is among the few 1879-O eagles I have seen with choice, original surfaces. The obverse and reverse display nice deep green-gold hues with some flashes of reddish-gold on the reverse. There is light, even wear limited to the high spots and the surfaces lack the pronounced abrasions which are virtually a diagnostic of this issue. The bottom line: this is one of the few nice looking examples of an issue which is notorious for poor eye appeal.
No PCGS AU55 1879-O eagles have sold at auction since Bass II: 1574 brought $10,350 all the way back in 1999. The most recent comparable is an NGC AU58, sold as Heritage 10/12: 6049, which brought $24,675. That coin was bright and heavily marked.
For many years, the 1879-O has been overlooked coin but collectors have finally realized its rarity and significance. Many years could pass before a finer piece is made available to collectors and I can’t overstate the importance of this offering!
CAC has approved two in this grade with none finer.
|Grade||PCGS AU55 CAC|
|PCGS Lookup Number||8685|