A beautiful, original coin with deep natural green-gold and russet hues on the obverse and the reverse. This date is rare in all grades and it is extremely hard to find with natural color as most have been dipped and/or processed. This piece is well-detailed, has very clean surfaces and shows far above-average eye appeal for the date and grade. A total of 13,000 were struck of which around 100 or so are known today. Most are seen in the VF-EF grade range and AU 1857-O half eagles are quite rare with two dozen or so accounted for. How hard is it to find an example in AU53? Well, since 1999 there have been just two sold at auction: Heritage 1/06: 5219 (graded NGC AU53 by NGC that sold for $4,485) and Bass II: 1100 (graded AU53 by PCGS that sold for $3,680 all the way back in 1999). If you collect New Orleans half eagles by date, you know the importance of this offering. If you don't but like cool coins priced at under $5,000, this piece should also generate some interest.