Going back a few decades, the 1858 was regarded as one of the rarest Liberty Head eagles. In fact, it was among the more desirable Liberty Head gold issues of any denomination. As the eagle series became more collected and better researched, it was learned that other dates were rarer but the 1858 has, in recent years, sort of unfairly lost some of its mojo. Only 2,521 were struck and of these no more than four or five dozen are known. The present example is among the very few 1858 eagles I have seen that has original color and it is also far less abraded than usual. This coin has even medium to deep green-gold color with some darkening on the highlights which give it almost a sort of "Euro" look. There are scattered abrasions on the surfaces including a cluster in the left obverse but these are far fewer than normal for the date. Both sides have some dirt lodged in the protected areas and there is a clump located above the AT in STATES. There have only been two AU50 examples sold at auction in the last bdecade (both graded by NGC) and they both brought $10,350 in 2005 and 2008, respectively. This example is considerably nicer and the market for this series is much stronger in 2012. A very important coin for the advanced specialist.