1883-O Coronet $10 Eagle

Coining operations came to a stop at the New Orleans Mint in 1861, as the opening months of the Civil War unfolded. The facility was given new life following the passage of the Bland-Allison Act in 1878, requiring production of huge quantities of Morgan silver dollars. The next year, nearly three million silver dollars rolled off the NOLA branch mint’s machinery.(1)

Gold coin production was also renewed, but output was very small. It started with just 1,500 ten dollar gold eagles in 1879. Production of the $10 eagle was less than 10,000 pieces annually from 1880-1882, but in 1883, the denomination was almost extinguished: the 1883-O had a microscopic mintage of only 800 pieces.(2)

Not only is the 1883-O is the rarest gold coin ever struck at the New Orleans Mint, it also rates as the smallest of any mintmarked Coronet eagle type issued during it 70 years of production, spanning from 1838 to 1907.

There exists today a lone 1883-O specimen in Mint State condition (MS-61). It seems logical there would not be many in high grade because the 800 struck were released into circulation, where most of them remained for their useful lives. By the time interest in collecting by mintmark gained a foothold within the hobby, nearly all the tiny number of 1883-O eagles were gone. Experts believe no more than 40 examples are extant, and most of those are well worn and possess below average eye appeal.(3)

The value trend charts for the 1883-O eagle show it has been a gold coin specialist’s dream coin for a very long time, but in truth it was probably undervalued. Interest across the numismatic gamut has really picked up steam in recent years.

In 2018, gold coin researcher and author Doug Winter wrote in the third edition of his book Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, 1839-1909: "For many years, the issue [the 1883-O eagle] was overlooked and greatly underpriced. It has gained considerable attention since the last edition of this book was published in 2006."(4)

Indeed it has!

Estimated survivors in all grades: 40
? 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: 8.7
? 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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1883-O Coronet $10 eagle New Orleans Mint rare gold coin: 1883-O Coronet $10 eagle
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1. Yeoman, R.S. and Garrett, Jeff, et al.  A Guide Book of United States Coins, 75th ed. Pelham, AL: Whitman Publishing, 2021.

2. Heritage Auctions.  1883-O $10.  Aug 2014 Auction.

3. PCGS.  1883-O $10 (Regular Strike).

4. Heritage Auctions.  1883-O $10.  Nov 2020 Auction.

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Coin images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.