Gold Eagle, NGC XF45 CAC. From an original mintage of
just 1,500 pieces, this coin is one of an estimated 125
coins still in existence in all grades. Most of these
pieces show excessive marks from circulation, making correctly
graded coins rare.
The low mintage of this issue from the New Orleans
Mint is only passed by the rare 1883-O eagle, which
only had 800 coins struck. This is the 2nd lowest mintage
of any gold coin from the New Orleans Mint, and examples
are thus very desirable. While the larger double eagles
usually attract more attention, a full set of New Orleans
eagles, in any grade, is a real accomplishment.
Most New Orleans gold coins have either been cleaned
or excessively dipped. As a result, truly original pieces
are rare, usually accounting for only a few percent
of the remaining survivors. The invitation of grading
companies, and the on going search for higher grade
pieces as opened a whole new concept of cleaning and
upgrading coins, in hopes of a higher graded.
The present piece is very original and rare as such.
Original reddish toning is seen on both sides, with
the original deep yellow gold also visible at points.
Sharply struck, this piece shows much less wear than
would be expected for an Extremely Fine grade coin.
Deep abrasions are usually seen for this issue, but
this example is remarkably free of them. Only the obverse
shows some marks in front of the eagle, but still much
less deep than regularly found. A very fresh and bold
piece seldom found in such a lovely state of perseveration.