Production of the $10 gold eagle was suspended in 1804 because bullion profiteers were preventing the coin from circulating as intended.(1)
After a 34-year hiatus, production of the eagle denomination was resumed in 1838. Christian Gobrecht’s design depicted Lady Liberty with braided hair. She wore a small crown, or coronet, with the word LIBERTY inscribed on it. The primary device on the reverse was an eagle in a naturalistic pose, reminiscent of John Reich’s work from decades earlier.(2)
This ten-dollar coin is called the Coronet eagle, though many collectors refer to it as the Liberty Head eagle.
It wasn’t until 1841 that the New Orleans Mint began striking $10 gold eagles, when it turned out a paltry 2,500 pieces, making it the rarest O-mint Coronet eagle of the antebellum era, other than possibly the 1859-O(3)
The entire mintage of 1841-O eagles were dumped into circulation. None that we know of today are preserved in Mint State condition. The rigors of time caused most of the 1841-O Coronet eagles to disappear. Many were melted for their gold content, leaving us with just an estimated 57 examples to scramble for.(4)(5)
Unfortunately, most of the surviving examples are noted by poor eye appeal, suffering from heavy abrasions and abuses, including amateur “cleaning” processes. In addition, most are poorly struck, particularly evident on the obverse.(6)
Buying Advice: It will cost more upfront, but examples of the 1841-O eagle with overall good eye appeal will be the star of the show at selling time. If you're the seller of such a coin, expect to be handsomely rewarded for your discerning insight.
As the first year issue of the gold $10 eagle from New Orleans, as well as its veritable rarity, the 1841-O has a long history of widespread collector appeal. In recent years, this date has exploded in value following a long period of dormancy during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Because of the solid numismatic fundamentals propelling the 1841-O, prospective buyers need not worry about losing money if the long-term is the game plan.
|Estimated survivors in all grades: 57
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
|PCGS Rarity Scale: 8.4
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
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