1845-O $5.00 NGC MS61

It's always nice when old friends come home and this wonderfully crusty 1845-O half eagle is a coin that I first offered for sale about two years ago. I re-acquired it at the Long Beach show and, if anything, I like it even more than I did then. The 1845-O half eagle remains a very rare issue in Uncirculated with an estimated eight to ten known. The NGC population for MS61's is inflated and at least one or two of the pieces I have seen in said holders have been marginal at best. This example has lovely deep green-gold and russet colors, in slightly different configurations, on the obverse and reverse. The strike is sharp and the surfaces are free of significant marks. For the sake of identification, there is a patch of dirt near the top of star seven on the obverse and a few natural copper spots on the reverse. Since 1995, only five MS61 examples of this date have appeared at auction. The last sale is Heritage 6/11: 4631 (graded by NGC) that realized $10,350; in March 2010, Heritage sold a PCGS graded coin for $12,650. An impressive coin for an advanced collection of New Orleans half eagles.