US Coins

Market Analysis: An appealing MS-60 1844-O gold eagle

Like the 1884-S Morgan dollar, an 1844-O Coronet gold $10 eagle is tough in Mint State grades. Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. have together certified just 20 in MS-60 or finer from an original mintage of 118,700. Most examples grade Very Fine to Extremely Fine and the finest only approach MS-63 since most have heavily abraded surfaces. 

Heritage offered an NGC MS-60 1844-O Coronet eagle at the Summer Florida United Numismatist convention auction in July in Orlando, writing, “Both sides of this light yellow-gold example are sharply defined, with considerable satin mint luster, and minimal scattered marks.” The appealing New Orleans Mint $10 eagle brought $9,300, a reasonable jump in price from a particularly bagmarked example graded PCGS AU-58 that realized $6,000 at auction last year. 

NGC describes an MS-60 coin as follows: “Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. Numerous abrasions, hairlines and/or large marks.” For some issues, collectors would rather have a highly appealing AU-58 example with a touch of friction at the high points versus an unattractive MS-60. A word of advice when collecting MS-60 coins: pay attention to eye appeal as you balance the pros and cons of coins in this grade. 

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