1843-O $5 Liberty Head No Motto, Large Letters NGC MS64, Ex. Ed Milas collection. Part of perhaps the most comprehensive high-grade No Motto Liberty Half Eagle collection, this Milas specimen of the Large Letters 1843-O appeared at auction by Stacks on May 1995. It was the first of two identical coins, both certified as NGC MS64, the other with light adjustment marks on both sides. In this Stacks catalog, it was described as “…Pleasing greenish yellow gold in color, somewhat typical of a southern branch mint’s gold coins, with light orange highlights showing. Needle-sharp strike, with full design details showing. Brightly reflective surfaces lending a semi-prooflike appearance to the coin. The obverse and reverse central devices are lightly frosted and stand out against the “flashy” fields with a cameo-like effect. An important opportunity to acquire an exceptionally high grade specimen. Only 82,000 were struck. David Akers writes regarding the issue: “Most of the specimens are well worn, VF to EF being typical.” Breen remarked “Very rare in EF, Ex. rare above.” The Eliasberg coin was graded MS-63/MS-60 and the Stack (1994) was Choice BU; Norweb lacked an example. One of the Finest Known.” This coin brought $31,900 twenty-two years ago.
Currently, there is a NGC Census for the 1843-O in MS64 of 8 coins with one finer. We’ve made a thorough study of other MS64 coins sold at auction and can report that this coin being offered definitely more eye appealing than these:
One MS64 sold on Jan. 2004 and then Oct. 2011, and was described as: “The most obvious distraction is actually a Mint-caused anomaly, faint horizontal roller marks that extend from the central devices out into the fields. A reeding mark above the eagle’s head is trivial yet the most noticeable abrasion.”
Another MS64 sold on March 2008 and then September 2009, and was described as: “With parallel roller marks visible on both sides, characteristic of the fairly weak strike through the centers. Some light die grease is noted on the cheek, as struck.”
None of these attributes are seen on the present example!