1850-O Liberty Seated Silver Dollar. MS-64 (PCGS). OGH--First Generation.
Incredible 1850-O Liberty Seated Silver Dollar
Offered is a coin that will win the heart of any serious collector who examines it. Very few high grade 1850-Os exist and many well known Liberty Seated dollar collections only included a well worn example -- or lacked one altogether. An early study by Bruce Lorich in the 1970s brought the rarity of this issue to light. The mintage was only 40,000 pieces, and those that entered circulation mostly stayed there for years. Furthermore, the vast majority were soon melted as the price of silver rose relative to gold as the yellow metal poured in from the California Gold Rush. Survival rates of New Orleans silver coinage of this period are minute at best. Very few 1850-O silver dollars were saved and it is surprising that this example survived in such incredible condition. This example is almost certainly the very finest known of the select few hundred 1850-O dollars that are around today. Rich teal, lemon, and russet toning graces the entire obverse and reverse -- toning that takes many years to form -- and accents the luster beneath and enhances the devices. When studied under a light, teal and blue can be seen around the periphery of both sides.
The fields and devices do have a few trivial scattered bagmarks and scuffs, but these are minor and not at all distracting. For identification there is a shallow reeding mark located on Liberty's thigh just above the right edge point of the shield. The reverse die shows considerable die rust in the fields surrounding the eagle, some below OF, ST of STATES and there are tiny die file lines below the left wing tip to the leaves below as always seen. All were coined with this same reverse die after it had rusted in the New Orleans humidity long enough to for these rust pits to form.
Walter Breen notes in his Encyclopedia that silver dollar dies were sent to the New Orleans Mint for each of the years 1846 through 1852, and again from 1859 to 1861 but silver dollars were not always produced. Issues were struck only in 1846, 1850, 1859 and 1860. Perhaps demand was low in that region for silver dollars, as not many were made especially for 1846 and 1850. Today these New Orleans issues are highly sought-after and have always been held in high regard for their rarity and history.
Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers
As the finest certified by PCGS, with none left, right or higher, this coin speaks for itself. I would not be at all surprised to see a record set as it crosses the block.