1857-O $2.50 PCGS AU53 CAC

This coin was formerly in an NGC AU55 holder and it had a CAC sticker; it was "downcrossed" to a PCGS AU53 where it now looks pretty undergraded to me! The surfaces are very deeply toned in rich green-gold shades and this is one of the few circulated 1857-O quarter eagles that I can recall with such original surfaces. This is the final year of issue for quarter eagles from this mint and the 1857-O, while not really scarce, is extremely hard to find with this appearance.

This is the only CAC AU53 example of this date; thirteen graded higher have been apporved.

From the RYK Collection.

1857-O $2.50 PCGS AU58 CAC

This numismatically significant date (it is the final quarter eagle made at the New Orleans mint) is more available now than a few decades ago due to some small hoards. However, really nice AU58 and better examples are still scarce and this gem slider is among the finest AU58 1857-O quarter eagles that I've seen with lovely lemon-gold color, choice surfaces and a razor-sharp strike. If you saw this coin out of its PCGS holder, you'd have no trouble grading it MS61and I have seen many examples of this date in 61 holders that couldn't hold a candle to this wonderful piece. And at half the price of a mediocre MS61...well, it's a great value as well.

CAC has approved six in this grade with four finer. A total of seventeen 1857-O quarter eagles have been approved by CAC.

1857-O $5.00 NGC AU53

Only 13,000 were struck and this is a numismatically significant issue as the final No Motto half eagle from the New Orleans mint. It is considerably scarcer than the majority of the Charlotte and Dahlonega half eagles from this decade and it is a major rarity in Uncirculated with just two or three known. In the middle to higher AU grades, the 1857-O is extremely scarce and there are probably fewer than twenty known. This example has nice luster with a slightly Prooflike finish below light green-gold color. There are a few scattered marks in the fields and a small tick or two on the face. There have been just three APR's for this date in AU53 since 1999.

1857-O $2.50 NGC MS61 CAC

This is a numismatically significant issue as it is the final quarter eagle made at the New Orleans mint. It is also scarce in properly graded Uncirculated, especially with natural color and surfaces. This very fresh example shows nice rich orange-gold color atop clean, frosty surfaces. A small speck of dirt at the LI in LIBERTY further attests to its originality and this is a premium coin for the date and grade.

1857-O $5.00 NGC AU55

There were no less than five different mints striking half eagles in 1857 and the New Orleans version is actually the rarest of these. The 1857-O is an interesrting issue both because of its overall scarcity and its numismatic significance as it is the last of the limited No Motto production from this mint (half eagles didn't resume at New Orleans until 1892). The 1857-O is a very scarce coin in the higher AU grades and it is extremely rare in Uncirculated with just three known to me. This example is semi-prooflike with nice flashes of original luster below medium lime-gold color. There is a short scratch on the obverse beow stars five and six and a small scrape on the reverse underneath the second T in STATES. Auction records show that this date become available in the AU55 to AU58 grade range at a pace of around once or twice every few years, making this an important and attractive piece for the specialist.

1857-O $10.00 NGC AU55

With a mintage of just 5,000 coins, the 1857-O is among the rarest No Motto eagles. It is an issue that remains unknown in Uncirculated and there are only three to five that I am aware of which can properly be graded as AU58. For most advanced collectors of No Motto eagles, AU55 is the finest grade in which this date is realistically available and choice, original examples are offered about once every two to four years. The present piece is fresh to the market and it is characterized by lovely intense reddish gold color at the borders which frames rich yellow-gold centers. There is some residual prooflike luster seen in the protected areas and the surfaces lack the dense abrasions that characterize this issue. The last APR for an AU55 1857-O eagle is Heritage 3/10: 2438, graded by NGC, which went for $6,900 but which was not as nice as this coin. Before this, there were only two other slabbed AU55's sold since 2000. Obviously, this is a rare coin and it is an important opportunity to fill a hole that exists in most New Orleans eagle sets.

1857-O $5.00 NGC AU53

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.

1857-O $2.50 NGC AU55 CAC

This date is often offered for sale in the AU53 to AU55 range but almost never with deep, original coloration. This example is as fresh an 1857-O quarter eagle as you will find with rich green-gold color and a good deal of dirt tucked-away in the recesses. A few old ticks in the field are nicely concealed by the depth of the coloration. You could literally look for years and not find a nicer circulated 1857-O quarter eagle than this.

Ex Stack's 2/1983: 719, Eugene Detmer collection. The original auction tag accompanies the coin.