1854-O Large Date $10.00 NGC MS63

Large Date Variety. As most collectors know, any No Motto eagle in MS63 or higher is rare. New Orleans eagles in this grade range are all but unheard of. Only two dates are sometimes seen in this grade, the 1847-O and 1851-O and even those are very rare. But to find an 1854-O Large Date in MS63 is almost unheard of. There are approximately seven to nine known in Uncirculated but this includes some pieces from the S.S. Republic and at least a few in MS60 to MS61 that I think are marginally "new." There are exactly two known in MS63 and none finer. PCGS has graded a single example which I sold to a California collector in 2005; it is originally ex Heritage 1/99: 8181 and it sold for $31,050 back then. This second example is also a coin that I handled before and it is listed as coin #2 in the Condition Census in my 2006 book "Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, 1838-1906." It has been off the market for at least a decade and I was able to reacquire it at the recent Long Beach show. It has an amazing naked-eye "look" with glittering semi-prooflike surfaces that are free of chatter or friction and which show rich yellow-gold color. There are a few light lines on the surfaces and a touch of mint-made planchet roughness on the reverse but this piece has an amazing appearance that is unlike nearly any other example of this variety that I can recall seeing. Usually, the texture of this date is frosty and it has a sunken, slightly concave appearance. This piece has a great strike and its "look" suggests that it is one of the very first struck of this variety. Coins of this quality and rarity are seldom available these days and when they are they typically appear at auction where they tend to bring crazy prices. If you are a serious collector of New Orleans gold, Liberty Head eagles or you just want something special to put away, give this coin some serious consideration.