What is the Rarest New Orleans Half Eagle?

What is the Rarest New Orleans Half Eagle?

A total of 17 half eagles were produced at the New Orleans mint between 1840 and 1909. Focusing on the No Motto Liberty Head issues (struck between 1840 and 1857) there are at least five issues which I would call “rare” (i.e., fewer than 100 examples known in all grades). These are the 1842-O, 1847-O, 1855-O, 1856-O, and 1857-O. Of these five, which is the rarest in terms of overall rarity and which is the rarest in high grades?

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1855-O $1.00 PCGS AU53

The 1855-O is the only Type Two gold dollar from New Orleans and its status as a one-year type makes it very popular with a broad range of collectors. It is nowhere near as scarce as the 1855-C or 1855-D but it so much more affordable than these two issues. This particular example has wonderful eye appeal for the issue with intense rich orange-gold colors seen on the obverse and reverse. There is a small scrape below TAT in STATES that removes this coin from strong consideration at the AU55 level. Choice, attractive and great value at less than $2,000.