SOLD- $5.00 – 1843-O Small Letters PCGS AU55, Old Green Holder

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SOLD- $5.00 – 1843-O Small Letters PCGS AU55, Old Green Holder


Serial Number 8217.55/1577141

PCGS Lookup Number 8217

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Old Green Holder. By today’s standards, I believe that this coin is close to–if not–a full AU58.

The Small Letters variety is the rarer of the two half eagles produced at the New Orleans mint in 1843. There are probably fewer than 100-125 known and this issue is very rare in the middle to higher AU grades. It was formerly exceedingly rare in Uncirculated but a small hoard of four pieces was found in 1999 and sold in 2000.

Struck in bright yellow gold with a pale greenish tint, this piece is extremely frosty and lacks the fuzziness seen on the late die state examples of this variety. There is very little in the way of actual wear and the surfaces show no marks of note save for a thin, shallow obverse hairline at the inside of star five.

There have been no PCGS AU55 examples of this variety sold since Bass III: 376 which brought $5,290 back in 2000. The presentexample is clearly more choice than the NGC AU58 sold as Heritage 10/10: 4778; that coin brought $6,038.

PCGS has graded just four examples in this grade with four finer. If you are an advanced collector of New Orleans half eagles and you want a choice 1843-O Small Letters, your usual choices are to either wait for a nice Uncirculated piece (and spend over $20,000) or to plug a hole with a low-end EF coin. That explains the significance of this lovely, high end example in a nutshell.