1852-O $10 MS (PCGS# 8609)
The March 2012 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 7650
View the Original Auction
Pleasing golden-orange on the obverse and reverse, with fewer circulation marks than expected. Of course there are some minor nicks and scuffs, but by and large enough wear transpired between striking and preserving to moderate the normal handling marks and blend them into the surfaces--precisely as these coins were designed to do. Mintage of 18,000 pieces originally and perhaps a few hundred or so exist today.<br />
Notably the reverse shows the curious hollow ring surmounted on the second vertical shield stripe. This feature had to have been on the hub (obviously as some sort of centering target), but was too deeply engraved and shows rather prominently when the coin is examined. This hollow ring feature is known on some 1851-O, 1852-O and 1853-O Coronet eagles, and then disappears into the dustbin of history. Eagles during this period were either struck in Philadelphia or New Orleans only, then in 1854 the new San Francisco Mint opened and also coined eagles, perhaps bringing about a new reverse hub without the hollow ring feature. It is indeed strange that the hollow ring feature only appears on New Orleans coins.