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May 30 , 2014


RARE 1847-O $5 GOLD NGC AU55
Click on Coin Image to enlarge

1847-O Half Eagle

Rare 1847-O $5 Gold NGC AU55 - $18,975.00

The rarest New Orleans Half Eagle issue. Because of its low mintage and low survival numbers, the 1847-O half eagle is rare in all grades. Only 50 to 60 are thought to exist in all grades. Only 3 have been certified Mint State by the grading services; the highest grade assigned is MS61. NGC has certified only 9 coins, including the present specimen, at the AU55 grade level.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

The New Orleans Mint was authorized in 1835 by President Andrew Jackson, hero of the battle of New Orleans. The bill that Jackson signed also authorized the mints at Charlotte and Dahlonega. William Strickland, a Philadelphia architect designed all three branch mint buildings. The New Orleans Mint building was made in the solid, bulky Greek Revival style of architecture. It was the largest of the three branch mints and located at major port of entry. Unfortunately Strickland did not account for the soft ground around the site. Because of it, the building had to undergo numerous repairs throughout its history.

Authorized to produce gold and silver, the New Orleans Mint struck quarter eagles and dimes in 1839. It operated from 1838 to 1909. In that time period 427 million silver and gold coins with the O mintmark were coined. By the mid 1850’s denominations made in New Orleans included three-cent silver pieces, half-dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, silver dollars, gold dollars, quarter eagles, three-dollar pieces, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles. The first deposit was of Mexican dollars which amounted to more than 32,400 dollars. The first coins struck were Liberty Seated dimes. Each year between the beginning of August and the end of November, the mint closed because of the annual outbreak of yellow fever. During the Civil War the Mint was held by the Confederacy and used to produce its coinage. It was the only mint to produce uniquely identifiable Confederate coinage, the 1861 half dollar with Confederate reverse and the copper-nickel cent of the same year.

In 1862 the New Orleans Mint was captured by United States Marines commanded by Commodore David Farragut and closed as a minting facility. The mint reopened as an assay office in 1876. Three years later federal coinage resumed. The New Orleans Mint was the only branch mint in the South to continue coinage after the Civil War. It lasted until 1909 when it was displaced by the mints in Denver and San Francisco. From then until 1931, the New Orleans Mint building was used as an assay office. It was then converted to a prison for Prohibition violators.

In 1934 the prison was closed, and the Coast Guard took possession of the building. In 1979 it was transferred to Louisiana to be used as a museum. The coin, designed by Christian Gobrecht, shows a left facing profile of Liberty wearing a LIBERTY inscribed coronet. Her hair is tied in the back and there are two loose curls that hang down her neck. Around the head are thirteen six-pointed stars, and the date is below the truncation. At the periphery of the coin are dentils. The coin also has a reeded edge. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle similar to the one on the Classic Head half eagle except that the eagle is smaller and its neck is not bent so aggressively. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the eagle, except for its wing tips, in an arc. The denomination is below, separated with dots, and written as FIVE D.

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com


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