Without fail, the annual ANA convention brings out many great coins. Some of these are old friends; others are new to the market. Many of the best coins I buy at major shows never make it onto my website, but they deserve attention.
Two of the best coins I bought at the 2015 ANA were a pair of New Orleans eagles which I’ve been chasing for many years. I first saw them in the early 1980’s, was outbid on them in 2000, and have kept tabs on them ever since. They were first offered to me—as a pair—about a year ago and after a lot of negotiating and patience, I was able to buy them. They were quickly added to a New England collection specializing in New Orleans gold which is by far the best of its kind ever formed.
The coins are an 1845-O and 1846-O eagle, both graded MS64 by PCGS and both approved by CAC. Each is the finest known for its specific issue, and both fall into the very elusive category of MS64 (or higher) No Motto eagles from New Orleans.
What is truly “cool” about these coins, besides their amazing appearance, is the fact that they have been together since at least 1890 and likely earlier. They have passed through some of the greatest collections of American gold coins ever formed.
The 1845-O is the more “common” of the two in higher grades but it is still a very rare date in Uncirculated with just five or six known to me, with the next finest being a pair which grade MS62. This includes a single PCGS MS62 and an NGC MS62, ex S.S. New York, which sold for $54,625 when auctioned in July 2008.
This 1845-O first appeared at auction in 1890 in the Chapman Brothers Cleaney sale and the next appeared in B. Max Mehl’s 1922 Ten Eyck sale where it was bought by collector John Clapp, Sr. It was next in the collection of Louis Eliasberg and was sold in the October 1982 Bowers and Ruddy sale to Harry Bass for $30,800. When the Bass collection was sold, this coin next realized $48,300 in 2000 and went into a Louisiana specialist’s collection where it stayed until I purchased it.
As you can see from the photo, this 1845-O is an exceptional coin with unmolested surfaces and gorgeous color. It is identifiable by a shallow planchet flaw above the date.
The 1846-O is a rare and undervalued issue which is actually among the harder No Motto eagles from this mint to locate in higher grades. There are three to five known in Uncirculated of which the present example being far and away the finest. The next finest known is an NGC MS63, also ex Eliasberg and Bass, which I sold to a California collector around a decade ago.
Every 1846-O eagle I have ever seen has frosty luster (and that’s assuming that it shows any luster any at all). This example is a unique exception as it is nearly fully reflective with spectacular cameo contrast. In fact, my first reaction when I saw this coin three decades ago was “It’s a Proof!!!” It’s not, but it is a very special coin.
Remarkably, this coin has exactly the same pedigree as the 1845-O. It sold for $28,600 in the Eliasberg sale to Harry Bass and nearly twenty years later it brought $46,000 in the Bass sale.
I paid a six-figure price for each coin and no doubt set a record price for each issue. In this case, the price was fully justified as the combination of quality, rarity, and provenance made these two of the greatest No Motto eagles from New Orleans in existence.
Do you collect New Orleans gold coinage? Why not work with the world’s leading expert on these coins when building your collection. Call Doug Winter at (214) 675-9897 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your New Orleans gold (or silver!) collections.
About Doug Winter
Doug has spent much of his life in the field of numismatics; beginning collecting coins at the age of seven, and by the time he was ten years old, buying and selling coins at conventions in the New York City area.
Recognized as one of the leading specialized numismatic firms, Doug is an award winning author of over a dozen numismatic books and the recognized expert on US Gold. His knowledge and exceptional eye for properly graded and original coins has made him one of the most respected figures in the numismatic community and a sought after dealer by collectors and investors looking for professional personalized service, a select inventory of impeccable quality and fair and honest pricing. Doug is also a major buyer of all US coins and is always looking to purchase collections both large and small. He can be reached at 214-675-9897.
Doug has been a contributor to the Guidebook of United States Coins (also known as the “Redbook”) since 1983, Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Coins, Q. David Bowers’ Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars and Andrew Pollock’s United States Pattern and Related Issues
In addition he has authored 13 books on US Gold coins including:
- Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint: 1839-1909
- Gold Coins of the Carson City Mint: 1870 – 1893
- Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint: 1838-1861
- Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint 1838-1861
- The United States $3 Gold Pieces 1854-1889
- Carson City Gold Coinage 1870-1893: A Rarity and Condition Census Update
- An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Type One Double Eagles
- The Connoisseur’s Guide to United States Gold Coins
- A Collector’s Guide To Indian Head Quarter Eagles
- The Acadiana Collection of New Orleans Coinage
- Type Three Double Eagles, 1877-1907: A Numismatic History and Analysis
- Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, 1838-1861: A Numismatic History and Analysis
- Type Two Double Eagles, 1866-1876: A Numismatic History and Analysis
Finally Doug is a member of virtually every major numismatic organization, professional trade group and major coin association in the US.
If you are interested in buying or selling classic US coins or if you would like to have the world’s leading expert work with you assembling a set of coins? Contact Doug Winter at (214) 675-9897 or by email at [email protected]