By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com ……
CoinWeek Content Partner
In my experience, any double eagle from New Orleans is very rare in properly graded MS62 and higher grades. When you add the parameters of being slabbed by PCGS and approved by CAC, you are talking about an extremely rare commodity.
1851-O $20.00 PCGS MS62, as photographed for Doug’s Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint book
Let’s take a look at how many Type One and Type Three New Orleans double eagles with CAC approval even exist before we break down these specific coins.
This gives a total of just four potential coins. The 1851-O and the 1853-O are owned by collector Dell Loy Hansen, and are likely not going to be available for many years to come. Both are graded by PCGS and the latter is unique in Uncirculated. If available, it would likely sell in excess of $250,000 USD.
The finer of the two 1857-O double eagles is graded MS63 by PCGS and it is also owned by Hansen. This means that it is unlikely to become available.
This leaves us with just one coin: the 1857-O graded MS62 by PCGS. This coin was discovered in Europe in June 2016, and it has never come up for sale either at auction or via private treaty sale. I am not aware of its current status. If it were available, it would likely sell for around $200,000.
Given these circumstances, I’d say that as of October 2021, locating a CAC-approved New Orleans double eagle in PCGS/CAC MS62 or MS63 is virtually impossible.
What if the parameters are relaxed and we include coins graded MS60 and MS61? If this is done, then the following coins would be added to the pool of potential purchases:
- 1850-O: 1 (61)
- 1851-O: 2 (60,61)
- 1852-O: 2 (60,61)
The 1850 graded PCGS/CAC MS61 last sold in June 2014 for $111,625 and it hasn’t reappeared since. It would likely bring $150,000 or more today.
Neither of the 1851-Os graded MS60 or MS61 by PCGS and approved by CAC has ever appeared at auction. I can’t recall having seen either coin.
One of the 1852-O double eagles–the one graded PCGS/CAC MS60–brought a very reasonable $32,900 when it was last sold as Heritage 4/2017: 4305.
This makes a total of five coins that could potentially be available but none seems to be available right now, and the MS60 coins are likely not nice enough for most collectors building a high-end set of Type One double eagles.
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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 10 years old, buying and selling coins at conventions in the New York City area.
In 1989, he founded Douglas Winter Numismatics, and his firm specializes in buying and selling choice and rare US Gold coins, especially US gold coins and all branch mint material.
Recognized as one of the leading specialized numismatic firms, Doug is an award-winning author of over a dozen numismatic books and a recognized expert on US Gold. His knowledge and an exceptional eye for properly graded and original coins have 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 “Red Book”) 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.