1851-O NEW ORLEANS $20 GOLD
NGC AU55 CACJust two years after double eagles were authorized, they had become a staple of American commerce. The 1851-O mintage is nearly twice as great as the next most common New Orleans double eagle (1852-O had a mintage of 190,000). In 1851, the New Orleans Mint produced 315,000 pieces making this the highest O-Mint double eagle mintage, and the most available New Orleans $20 gold piece.
However, the coins were all released into circulation at the time of issue, making the 1851-O mostly available today in lower circulated grades, but high-grade specimens are seldom encountered. This 1851-O represents the most collectible Louisiana issue in the series, and is a popular choice of branch mint type collectors. Despite the quantity available, this issue is considered scarce, compared to its Philadelphia Mint counterpart. The appeal of O-mint double eagles drives strong demand for such coins in all grades. This attractive, original About Uncirculated-55 is an extremely good value at current levels.
This 1851 New Orleans issue is reminiscent to time that the Sioux Indians agreed to give up their lands in Iowa and almost all of Minnesota in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. James Savage becomes the first white man to enter Yosemite Valley while pursuing a band of Indians who had raided several trading posts in the region. It was the year that Moby Dick was published by Herman Melville, and The New York Times newspaper first appeared in September 1851. On Christmas Eve in 1851, the largest fire in the history of the Library of Congress wiped out nearly two-thirds of the collection. It destroyed 35,000 out of the library's 55,000 irreplaceable books at the time, including most of Thomas Jefferson's archive. This 1860-O is a golden piece of our American history.