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