Imagine, if you will, that the coin market is a sushi bar. You look in the cases and you see the familiar fish: salmon, albacore, mackerel, and regular tuna. Off in the corner, in a special case there is the prized (and pricey) fatty tuna (or Toro) wrapped in special paper and brought out for special customers only. That fish, in our Numismatic Sushi Bar, is Proof Gold: rare, unusual, and very expensive.
Of the four denominations struck at the Dahlonega mint, half eagles are the largest in size and have—by far—the most struck; both in terms of individual dates and total produced. This denomination was made from 1838 through 1861, and there were a total of 26 issues.
I don’t write as often about San Francisco gold coinage as I do about the southern branch mints, but I buy and sell a lot of rare San Francisco issues in all denominations and I have a good overall handle on the health of this market…
Let’s say an upscale collector makes a decision to put together a complete 13-coin set of New Orleans double eagles. Putting monetary concerns aside, is it possible in 2018 to even bother to attempt this project?