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1839-O Classic Head Gold Quarter Eagle NGC MS62

2023-09-27 17:45:00
1839-O Classic Head Gold Quarter Eagle NGC MS62

1839-O Classic Head Gold Quarter Eagle NGC MS62

Jack McNamara's Live Auction Featured Coin

Thursday, September 28th, 2023


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  • Mintage: 17,781
  • NGC Population: 16/20
  • PCGS Population: 12/11
  • CU Price Guide: $35,000
  • Finest Known: MS65 (2) - Last traded in 2015, for approximately $76,000. Since then, a MS64+ realized $120,000 in 2022.
  • Last year of issue and the only O-Mint Classic Head Quarter Eagle!
  • History of the New Orleans branch mint cannot be told without mentioning the first major gold rush in the United States which began in the late 18th/early 19th century.
  • It began with twelve-year-old Conrad Reed who was playing along Little Meadow Creek which ran across Reed farm when he noticed “a yellow substance shining in the water.”
  • As the story goes, he fished out the surprisingly heavy, wedge-shaped rock out of the creek and brought it to his father John Reed, a German immigrant farmer.
  • Unable to identify it, John Reed used it for a doorstop. Three years would go by before Reed would be informed his doorstop was almost pure gold.
  • He subsequently sold it to a purchaser for a total sum of $3.50, who eventually flipped it for roughly $3,600.
  • Reed soon realized his mistake and associated himself with several partners for the purpose of searching for gold along Little Meadow Creek.
  • News quickly spread and fortune hunters from all over began exploring nearby areas panning for gold nuggets and dust for years to come.
  • The overwhelming gold discovery led to an act passed on March 3, 1835, that authorized the creation of U.S. Mint facilities in New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia.
  • The New Orleans Mint opened its doors in 1838 and struck its first quarter eagle in 1839, featuring the Classic Head design.
  • The Classic Head design was used on the quarter eagles from 1834 to 1839, before being replaced by the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle design.
  • That makes the 1839-O $2.5 a one-year type as the only New Orleans Quarter Eagle to feature the Classic Head design!
  • The vast majority of certified examples for this date have experienced significant circulation as they were intended to meet commerce needs for the region.
  • Therefore, only a small percentage have survived in Uncirculated condition, let alone MS62 or finer.
  • In MS63 condition this date is expected to trade for approx. $60,000 or more. Nearly a year ago, the last MS63 sold for approximately $55,000.