The New Orleans Mint

The Gold and Silver Coins of New Orleans, Louisiana 1838-1909

by Timothy O’Fallon  [email protected]


Was the New Orleans Mint the most important Mint in the nation?  A good case could be made for it:  from its founding to its role in commerce, from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, few other American buildings have been so steeped in lore and drama.  But the real treasures of the New Orleans Mint are the coins produced there:  beautiful examples of 19th and early 20th Century Americana that in many cases elude some of the most persistent collectors.  Almost anyone can own “a coin” from the New Orleans Mint; but precious few can own “the coin”, the coin that fills the last space in a serious collection.  For some, “the coin” is the New Orleans $2.50 gold coin from 1845.  For others, it is the $10.00 gold eagle from 1883, or the 1843 Dime, or the 1892 Barber half dollar with the very, very small “O”  mint mark.


Below, you will find every date and denomination of gold or silver coin produced at the U.S. Mint at New Orleans, Louisiana between 1838 and 1909, along with a few of the most important varieties needed to complete a set.  You’ll also find plenty of other information, including the estimated number of survivors of each coin, the different ways to build sets of New Orleans gold and silver coins, the approximate cost to build a set, and how long it might take you.  You can also sit back and read all about the story of this amazing place and the delightful coins born there.  Best of all, you can do something about it by perusing our store for coins minted in New Orleans (we have a category just for this) or contact me to find you one of help you acquire one of each. Click here to read The Story of the New Orleans, Louisiana Mint.

Contents of this page:

New Orleans Gold Coins How to Collect New Orleans Gold Coins List of New Orleans Gold Coins

One Dollar Gold

$2.50 (Quarter Eagles)

$3.00 Gold Indian Princess

$5.00 (Half Eagles)

$10.00 (Eagles)

$20.00 (Double Eagles)

New Orleans Silver Coins How to Collect New Orleans Silver Coins List of New Orleans Silver Coins

Three Cent Silver

Half Dimes



Half Dollars


The New Orleans 1907 Mexican 20 Centavo

The Story of the New Orleans, Louisiana Mint

United States Coins of the New Orleans Mint


New Orleans Gold Coins

How to Collect New Orleans Gold Coins

There are a fantastic variety of ways to collect New Orleans Gold Coins, from complete sets to very simple representative type sets.   To find the collecting method best for you, you will need to know:

  • How many coins you will need for your set
  • What specific coins make up the set
  • What approximate price range your set will cost
  • Approximately how long it will take to complete the set
  • How many such sets can realistically be assembled

I’ve done the work for you to answer these questions, and provided pictures to boot!  See below:

2 9 10a 13 19 23


1.     The Basic 6­ Coin Type Set:  This consists of any date $1 gold coin, any date $2.50 Coin, the 1854 $3 Indian Princess, any date $5.00 Liberty coin, any date $10.00 coin, and any date $20.00 coin from the New Orleans Mint.  In “About Uncirculated” Condition, a pleasing basic 6­ Coin Type set may cost somewhere in the $23,000.00 range and take a moderate amount of time to assemble in current market conditions.  I think up to forty sets can be assembled in “AU” or better condition.


2.    The Full 13­ Coin Type Set (14 Coins with the Optional 1879­O With Motto $20.00):  This consists of one coin from each denomination and major design from the New Orleans Mint.    This set may take two or more years to assemble, and in “About Uncirculated” condition may cost in the $55,000.00 range ($125,000.00 with the 1879­O No Motto $20.00).  I think no more than about 25 collectors in the world can assemble the 13­Coin set in “AU” or better condition.  The set should include:


12   The $1 Gold Type 1 (1849­ – 1853)


3 4   The $1 Gold Type 2 (1855 only)


5 6   The $2.50 Classic Head (1839 only)


7 8   The $2.50 Liberty Small Date (1840 – 1843)


910   The $2.50 Liberty Large Date (1843 – ­1857)


10a10b   The $3.00 Indian Princess (1854)


11 12   The $5.00 Liberty (No Motto) Small Letters (1840 -­ 1843)


1314   The $5.00 Liberty (No Motto) Large Letters (some of 1843 – ­1867)


15 16   The $5.00 Liberty With Motto (1892 – ­1894)


17 18   The $5.00 Indian Head (1909 Only)


1920   The $10.00 Liberty Head No Motto (1841­ – 1860)


21 22   The $10.00 Liberty Head With Motto (1879 – ­1906)


23 24   The $20.00 Liberty Head No Motto (1850 – ­1861)


25 26   The $20.00 Liberty Head With Motto (1879 Only ­ Optional)


3.  3 The $1 Set – ­6 Coins:  If you want to complete a date set of Branch Mint gold at minimum expense, the New Orleans $1 Gold set may be just what the Numismatist ordered.  You should be able to complete a full set in “AU” condition for approximately $5,000.00, and half of that is because of a single coin (The 1855-­O).  Since no more than about 85 sets can be assembled in “AU” or better condition, I think this affords a striking opportunity to a great many people.  It is also an excellent “starter” set for appreciative children in the family.  I notice a lot of collectors give coin gifts in the $5,000.00 range with far less rarity,  potential and historical value than this set.  It may take less than a year to assemble a set like this.  See the $1.00 Gold section below for a list of dates.


4.    7 The $2.50 (quarter eagle) Set – 14 Coins:  This is one of my favorite sets of all U.S. gold coins in terms of rarity compared to value.  An About Uncirculated set could cost as little as $26,000.00 (more for the higher “AU” grades) and could take two to three years to assemble.    In my opinion, it is only possible for about 15  of these sets to be assembled in “AU” or better condition, perhaps fewer owing to the difficulty of obtaining the 1845-­O.   See the $2.50 Gold section below for a list of dates.


5.10b   The $3.00 Gold Indian Princess – 1 Coin:  Even though fewer than 100 of the New Orleans $3 coins may still exist in the “About Uncirculated” grade, the coin is obtainable and an excellent value for a “one­ year­ only” type coin.  In “AU” condition the coin is available for under $8,000.00 (more for the higher AU grades).  A “Set” of New Orleans $3 gold is just one year:  the 1854­-O!  As such, it should not take more than a few months at most for me to locate a nice one for you.  I think up to 80 of these coins in “AU” grade may be available in a 10 ­year period.  See the $3.00 Gold details below.


6. 13 The $5.00 (half eagle) Set – 18 Coins:  One of these days, someone (ahem) is going to figure out that New Orleans $5 coins, especially in terms of a set, deserve to be worth much, much more than they are today.   A complete set in nice “AU” condition would cost less than $100,000.00, but fewer than 12 sets in the world can likely be assembled in that grade.  The 1847­-O $5 is the key to the set and the number of possible sets are partly determined by the availability that coin.  I’ve noticed that the better dates of New Orleans $5 coins tend to be extremely elusive, so be prepared for a 5­ to 6 year time frame in putting a nice set of these coins together .  See the $5.00 Gold section below for a list of dates.


7. 19 The $10.00 (eagle) Set ­ – 37 Coins:  So you want to put a set of New Orleans $10 “Eagles” together, do you?  I’m guessing you are the kind of person who climbs Mt. Everest and swims the English Channel before breakfast, right?  The $10 New Orleans set is for champions, the highly ambitious, and those who want the satisfaction of owning what few others can only dream of…not because of the price, but because of the challenge.  The $10 New Orleans set is far less expensive than many single U.S. coins, but far more challenging to obtain.  While in theory a complete set in lower “AU­50” grade can be assembled for around $200,000.00, a nice AU set with nice eye appeal will probably run closer to $300,000.00 or more based on current market levels.   I think no more than 5 complete sets of New Orleans $10 coins can be completed in About Uncirculated condition, if that, and it may be a 10 year project to complete.  But it can be done.  See the $10.00 Gold section below for a list of dates.


8.  23 The $20.00 (double eagle) Set ­ 13 Coins:  Some of the $20 “Double Eagle” New Orleans gold coins bring more money than any other business strike O-­Mint gold coin, partly because the larger size of the coin makes them very popular.  Also, it is actually possible to complete a set (unlike the Philadelphia- Mint $20’s), and there is a coin for every year business strike Double Eagles were made before the Civil War.  The single Type Three $20 (1879­-O) is the icing on the cake.  Two of the dates (1854­-O and 1856-­O) are so rare and in such high demand that they bring in the six figures even in the lowest grades.  There may be enough “AU” condition coins in the world for two or three complete collections going forward, and perhaps another 15 or 20 sets in lower grade.  In any case, give yourself 5 to ­10 years, perhaps more, to find the right coins.  Also, set aside $1 Million to $1.5 Million for the project (or just over $600,000.00 in the lower grades).  This may not be as much as it seems for 13 rare antebellum double eagles, as the single collectible 1933 Philadelphia­Mint  $20 brought over $7.5 Million on its own in 2002.   See the $20.00 Gold section below for a list of dates, mintages, and estimated survivors.


9. The Complete New Orleans Gold Set*:  Assembling one each of every collectible New Orleans gold coin (89 coins) in About Uncirculated condition or better, is a hunt requiring patience and opportunism. Finding the right coins would likely take over ten years and at current market levels might run in the $1.5 Million to $1.75 Million range.   Perhaps a single nice complete New Orleans Gold sets like this can be assembled going forward, especially with other collectors and investors pursuing denomination- specific sets only.  Someone is going to accomplish this.

List of New Orleans Gold Coins

The “mintage” is the number of coins produced that year in New Orleans.  The “Estimated Survivors” refers to undamaged and never harshly cleaned coins that can be certified by NGC or PCGS in ANY grade. The Estimated Survivors numbers cited are from PCGS CoinFacts, a valuable numismatic resource.


Click here to see our current New Orleans coin inventory


$1.00 Gold 1849- ­1855 ­ (6 Coins)


Type I $1 Gold

1 2

1. 1849-­O $1.  Mintage:  215,000 – Estimated Survivors:  875
2. 1850-­O $1.  Mintage:  14,000 ­ – Estimated Survivors: 200
3. 1851-­O $1.  Mintage:  290,000 – Estimated Survivors:  1300
4. 1852­-O $1.  Mintage:  140,000 – Estimated Survivors:  275
5. 1853­-O $1.  Mintage:  290,000 – Estimated Survivors:  1500


Type II $1 Gold


6.  1855-­O $1. Mintage: 55,000– Estimated Survivors:  500



$2.50 Gold 1839 – ­1857 ­ (14 Coins)


Classic Head $2.50 Gold

5 6

1.   1839-­O.  Mintage: 17,781– Estimated Survivors:  400

1a. 1839­-O Medallic Alignment.  Mintage:  Part of 17,781 – Estimated Survivors: Unknown (90?)

Liberty Head $2.50 Gold, Small Date


2.       1840-­O.  Mintage: 33,580– Estimated Survivors:  125

3.       1842-­O.  Mintage: 19,800– Estimated Survivors:  115

4.       1843­-O SD.  Mintage: 288,002– Estimated Survivors:  800



Liberty Head $2.50 Gold, Large Date

9 10

5.    1843-­O LD. Mintage: 76,000– Estimated Survivors: 85

6.    1845­-O. Mintage: 4,000– Estimated Survivors:  75

7.    1846-­O. Mintage: 62,000– Estimated Survivors:  175

8.    1847­-O. Mintage: 124,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

9.    1850­-O. Mintage: 84,000– Estimated Survivors:  225

10.  1851­-O. Mintage: 148,000– Estimated Survivors: 250

11.   1852-­O. Mintage: 140,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

12.   1854-­O. Mintage: 153,000– Estimated Survivors:  700

13.   1856­-O. Mintage: 21,100– Estimated Survivors:  125

14.   1857­-O. Mintage: 34,000– Estimated Survivors:  275

$3.00 Gold 1854 Only

Indian Princess $3.00 Gold

10a 10b

1.       1854-­O.  Mintage:  24,000– Estimated Survivors:  1000



$5.00 Gold 1840­-1909 ­ – 18 Coins

Liberty Head $5.00 Gold, No Motto ­ Small Letters Reverse 1840­ – 1843


1.       1840­-O “Broad Mill”.  Mintage:  4,620– Estimated Survivors:  25**

2.       1840-­O “Narrow Mill”.  Mintage:  35,500– Estimated Survivors:  212**

3.       1842-­O.  Mintage:  16,400– Estimated Survivors: 60

4.       1843-­O Small Letters.  Mintage:  19,075– Estimated Survivors:  120



Liberty Head $5.00 Gold, No Motto ­ Large Letters Reverse 1843­ – 1857

13 14

5.  1843-­O Large Letters.  Mintage:  82,000– Estimated Survivors:  275

6.  1844-­O. Mintage:  364,600– Estimated Survivors:  550

7.  1845-­O.  Mintage:  41,000– Estimated Survivors:  100

8.  1846-­O.  Mintage:  58,000– Estimated Survivors:  90

9.  1847-­O.  Mintage:  12,000– Estimated Survivors:  50

10.  1851­-O.  Mintage:  41,000– Estimated Survivors:  100

11.  1854-­O.  Mintage:  46,000– Estimated Survivors:  175

12.  1855­-O.  Mintage:  11,100– Estimated Survivors:  90

13.  1856-­O.  Mintage: 10,000– Estimated Survivors:  85

14.  1857-­O.  Mintage:  13,000– Estimated Survivors:  90



Liberty Head $5.00 Gold, With Motto 1892 – ­1894

15 16

15.   1892­-O. Mintage:  88,452– Estimated Survivors:  200

16.   1893-­O. Mintage:  90,629– Estimated Survivors:  1,000

17.   1894-­O. Mintage:  80,294– Estimated Survivors:  800



Indian Head $5.00 Gold, 1909

17 18

18.  1909-­O.  Mintage:  34,200– Estimated Survivors:  1,416

$10.00 Gold 1841-1906 – 37 Coins

Liberty Head $10.00 Gold, Without Motto 1841­ – 1860


1.  1841­-O.  Mintage:  2,500– Estimated Survivors:  57

2. 1842-­O.  Mintage:  27,400– Estimated Survivors:  212

3. 1843­-O.  Mintage:  175,162– Estimated Survivors:  325

4. 1844­-O.  Mintage:  118,700– Estimated Survivors:  350

5. 1845­-O.  Mintage:  47,500– Estimated Survivors:  237

6. 1846-­O.  Mintage:  81,780– Estimated Survivors:  212

7. 1847­-O.  Mintage:  571,500– Estimated Survivors:  875

8. 1848-­O.  Mintage:  35,850– Estimated Survivors:  200

9. 1849­-O.  Mintage:  23,900– Estimated Survivors:  112

10. 1850-­O.  Mintage:  57,500– Estimated Survivors:  200

11. 1851­-O.  Mintage:  263,000– Estimated Survivors:  775

12. 1852­-O.  Mintage:  18,000– Estimated Survivors:  110

13. 1853­-O.  Mintage:  51,000– Estimated Survivors:  287

14. 1854-­O Small Date.  Mintage: Part of 52,500– Estimated Survivors:  187

15. 1854­-O Large Date.  Mintage:  Part of 52,500– Estimated Survivors:  132

16.   1855p-O.  Mintage:  18,000– Estimated Survivors:  100

17. 1856­-O.  Mintage:  14,500– Estimated Survivors:  107

18. 1857-­O.  Mintage:  5,500– Estimated Survivors:  92

19. 1858­-O.  Mintage:  20,000– Estimated Survivors:  237

20. 1859-­O.  Mintage:  2,300– Estimated Survivors:  55

21. 1860­-O.  Mintage:  11,100– Estimated Survivors:  142

Liberty Head $10.00 Gold, With Motto 1879 – ­1906


22.  1879-­O.  Mintage:  1,500– Estimated Survivors:  70

23.  1880-­O.  Mintage:  9,200– Estimated Survivors:  275

24.  1881-­O.  Mintage:  8,350– Estimated Survivors:  225

25.  1882­-O.  Mintage:  10,820– Estimated Survivors:  337

26.  1883­-O.  Mintage:  800– Estimated Survivors:  40

27.  1888­-O.  Mintage:  21,335– Estimated Survivors:  1,150

28.  1892-­O.  Mintage:  28,688– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

29.  1893-­O.  Mintage:  17,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,125

30.  1894-­O.  Mintage:  107,500– Estimated Survivors:  1,425

31.  1895-­O.  Mintage:  98,500– Estimated Survivors:  1,200

32.  1897­-O.  Mintage:  42,500– Estimated Survivors:  625

33.  1899­-O.  Mintage:  37,047– Estimated Survivors:  400

34.  1901­-O.  Mintage:  72,041– Estimated Survivors:  1,075

35.  1903-­O.  Mintage:  112,771– Estimated Survivors:  2,050

36.  1904­-O.  Mintage:  108,950– Estimated Survivors:  1,300

37.  1906­-O.  Mintage:  86,895– Estimated Survivors:  625

$20.00 Gold 1850-1879 – 13 Coins

Liberty Head $20.00 Gold, Without Motto 1850­-1861


1.  1850­-O.  Mintage:  141,000– Estimated Survivors:  626

2. 1851­-O.  Mintage:  315,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,279

3. 1852-­O.  Mintage:  190,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,002

4. 1853-­O.  Mintage:  71,000– Estimated Survivors:  351

5. 1854­-O.  Mintage:  3,250– Estimated Survivors:  40

6. 1855-­O.  Mintage:  8,000– Estimated Survivors:  132

7. 1856­-O.  Mintage:  2,250– Estimated Survivors:  40

8. 1857­-O.  Mintage:  30,000– Estimated Survivors:  209

9. 1858-­O.  Mintage:  32,250– Estimated Survivors:  307

10. 1859­-O.  Mintage:  9,100– Estimated Survivors:  95

11. 1860­-O.  Mintage:  6,600– Estimated Survivors:  138

12. 1861­-O.  Mintage:  17,741– Estimated Survivors:  256

Liberty Head $20.00 Gold, With Motto 1879


13.  1879­-O.  Mintage:  2,325– Estimated Survivors:  152

New Orleans Silver Coins


How to Collect New Orleans Silver Coins

Before you go on, it’s important to point something out that I’ve noticed over the years.  The retail pricing on nice seated coinage (printed and online guides) is much of the time way out of line…in the sense that it is often too low!  Problem ­free About Uncirculated coins tend to bring much more at auction than the “retail” prices, and this phenomenon seems to be very much in play when it comes to New Orleans Mint silver coins from the 1838 to ­1891 era.  I’ve tried to adjust for this in some of my estimates below, but you may find that even these estimates are a little low in the real world when you need to fill that spot in your set!


1.  The Basic, 7­ Coin Silver Type Set This basic set includes one coin from every silver denomination from the New Orleans Mint.  In About Uncirculated condition, expect it to run around $1,650.00.  In my view, up to 750 such sets can be assembled in “AU” Condition and with determination, the project should take well under a year.


2728   Three Cent Silver (1851 Only)


31 32   Half Dime (1838-­1860)


51 52   Dime (1838­-1909)


63 64   Quarter (1840­-1909)


75 76   Half Dollar (1838­-1909)


79 80   Dollar (1846­-1904) P


last one last one 82   New Orleans’ Struck Mexican 1907 “Curved 7” 20 Centavo


2. The Expanded, 12-­Coin Silver Type Set The expanded New Orleans Silver Type Set is a little more challenging than the basic set and includes examples of both seated and Barber coinage, as well as the beautiful Reeded Edge Bust Half Dollar.  An expanded Type Set in About Uncirculated condition should run in the vicinity of $5500 to $6000, which is an intriguingly good value considering that little more than 100 such sets can be assembled in that condition.  I think 1­2 years is sufficient time to find a good example of each coin.


2728   Three Cent Silver (1851 Only)


31 32   Seated Half Dime (1838­-1860)

45 46   Seated Dime (1838­-1891)


51 52   Barber Dime (1892­-1909)


53 54   Seated Quarter (1840­-1891)


63 64   Barber Quarter (1892­-1909)


65 66   Reeded Edge Bust Half Dollar (1838­-1839)


67 68   Seated Half Dollar (1840­-1861)


75 76   Barber Half Dollar (1892­-1909)


77 78   Seated Dollar (1846­-1860)


79 80   Morgan Dollar (1879-­1904)


last onelast one 82   New Orleans Struck Mexican 1907 “Curved 7” 20 Centavo Photo


3. The Full, 28­ Coin Silver Type Set This is a truly satisfying Type Set which leaves almost no silver coin type left behind.  It includes every major variety of Seated Coinage, including the extremely rare Variety IV Dime (with the Legend on the Obverse), which was only made in 1860 in New Orleans…and only a few have survived.  Because of this coin and the Variety I seated half dime, I believe only about 7 or 8 Full New Orleans Silver Type Sets can be assembled in About Uncirculated condition.  With this in mind, a total cost of $30,000.00 is not unreasonable.  Expect a 3 or 4 year time frame to find the coins you need.


2728   Three Cent Silver (1851 Only)


29 30   Variety I Seated Half Dime (1838)


31 32   Variety II Seated Half Dime (1839­-1853)


33 34   Variety IIIa Seated Half Dime (1853­-1855)


35 36‘ Variety IIIb Seated Half Dime (1856­-1859)


38   Variety  IV Seated Half Dime (1860)


39 40   Variety I Seated Dime (1838)


41 42   Variety II Seated Dime (1839­-1842)


43 44   Variety IIIa Seated Dime (1853­-1854)


45 46   Variety IIIb Seated Dime (1856­-1859)


47 48   Variety IV Seated Dime  (1860)


49 50   Variety VI Seated Dime  (1891)


51 52   Barber Dime (1892-­1909)


53 54   Variety I Seated Quarter (1840­-1852)


55 56   Variety II Seated Quarter (1853)


57 58   Variety IIIa Seated Quarter (1854­-1855)


59 60   Variety IIIb Seated Quarter (1856­-1860)


61 62   Variety VI Seated Quarter (1891 Only)


63 64   Barber Quarter (1892­-1909)


65 66   Reeded Edge Bust Half (1838­-1839)


67 68   Variety I Seated Half Dollar (1840­-1853)


69 70   Variety II Seated Half Dollar (1853)


71 72   Variety IIIa Seated Half Dollar  (1854­-1855)


73 74   Variety IIIb Seated Half Dollar  (1856­-1861)


75 76   Barber Half Dollar (1892­-1909)


77 78   Seated Dollar (1846-­1860)


79 80   Morgan Dollar (1879-­1904)


last onelast one 82   New Orleans Struck Mexican 1907 “Curved 7” 20 Centavo


4. New Orleans Arrows and Arrows +  Rays (6 Coins) Arrows around the date (and sometimes rays on the reverse around the eagle) were used by the Mint to denote a change in weight.  As you may have guessed, these changes reduced the silver content. When such a change occurred, and it happened once during the years the New Orleans Mint actually minted coins:  in 1853.  Thus, most 1853­O silver coins and all 1854­O silver coins had either arrows, or arrows and rays.  A complete set of every New Orleans coin with arrows or arrows and rays is an excellent way to highlight the design change prompted by the change in the weight and silver content of the coins. Completing a set in About Uncirculated condition should only cost in the $4,500.00 range at current market levels, but since only about 50 sets like this can be assembled in AU, it may take 2 or 3 years to complete.


33 34   Variety IIIa Seated Half Dime (1853­-1855)


43 44   Variety IIIa Seated Dime  (1853­-1854)


5556   Variety II Seated Quarter  (1853)


5758   Variety IIIa Seated Quarter  (1854-­1855)


69 70   Variety II Seated Half Dollar  (1853)


71 72   Variety IIIa Seated Half Dollar  (1854­-1855)


27285. The 1851­O New Orleans 3c Silver –  ­ 1 Coin


The three cent silver coin was only produced in New Orleans for a single year: 1851.  Congress felt a need to provide a coin with a value between the Large Cent (The Large Cent was the size of a Half Dollar!) and the half dime.  Also, since in 1851 the price of a postage stamp was 3 cents, it seemed impractical for the government to take in the bulky large cents for these transactions.  Treasury officials referred to these tiny, thin 3 cent silver coins as “Trimes”, but most people called them “fish scales”.  The 1851­-O three cent silver is the only “trime” with a mint mark, making it very popular among collectors.  A pleasing About Uncirculated example should run in the $500 range.  It may take some looking (a few months anyway), as there may only be 100 or so in “AU” grade extant.   See below for the New Orleans 3 Cent silver listing.


33 346. New Orleans Half Dimes (1838-­1860) ­ – 21 Coins The half dime, made of silver, was the five cent denomination in America many years before the “nickel” was introduced in 1866.  In New Orleans, production of these half dimes remained steady until the Civil War, after which the denomination was not made again at this mint.  Collecting an entire 21­Coin set of these half dimes is possible but difficult, perhaps costing as little as $18,000.00 for the set in About Uncirculated condition, but owing to the difficulty of finding an 1853 No Arrows half dime, perhaps only 7 or 8 sets can be assembled in AU.  Completing the set may take up to 5 years.  See below for a complete list of New Orleans half dimes.


41 427. New Orleans Dimes (1838­-1909)  – ­ 37 Coins According to some accounts, the Dime was the first denomination coin to be struck at the New Orleans Mint.  This denomination was produced in quantity but many of the dates are extremely difficult to find in quality.  In many cases, the mintage for a particular date doesn’t tell the tale.  A complete, 37 Coin set (includes the Barber dimes)  in About Uncirculated Condition could cost in the vicinity of $52,000.00, and it is likely that only 4 or 5 sets could be collected in this grade, even if you were to drop to the XF­45 grade on the 1843-­O…  Completing the New Orleans dime set could take more than 7 years.  See below for a complete list of New Orleans dimes.


51 528. New Orleans Barber Dimes (1892-­1909) – ­ 18 Coins Charles E. Barber was the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 to 1917, and among his more influential accomplishments was the design of the dime, quarter, and half dollar denomination of U.S. coinage from 1892 to 1916.  This design features the head of the goddess Liberty wearing a Phrygian Cap on the obverse, and the words “ONE DIME” surrounded by a wreath on the reverse.  Below the ribbon of the wreath is where the “O” mint mark was affixed.  Although Barber dimes are usually collected as a set from every mint combined, such a set is technically nearly impossible to complete due to the rarity of the 1894­San Francisco dime, of which only 24 were struck and can cost upwards of a million dollars by itself. With this in mind, a set of higher grade ­ or at least About Uncirculated grade ­ Barber dimes from New Orleans is an attractive possibility with potential for increasing value as the idea catches on.  Collecting all 18 New Orleans Barber silver dimes in About Uncirculated condition may cost in the $11,000.00 range, and it may be realistic to expect 30 sets may be assembled in this grade.  Even so, a dedicated collector should be able to complete this set in under 3 years.  See below for a complete list of New Orleans Barber Dimes.


59 609.   New Orleans Quarters (1840­-1909) ­ 40 Coins One of the most challenging and rewarding sets of silver coins to complete from the New Orleans Mint is the Complete Quarter set.  Finding the coins is difficult; finding the coins in a certain grade is extremely difficult; finding all the coins in a certain grade range with good eye appeal is near­ epic.  With this in mind, there’s a lot of price variance…and sometimes two collectors can fight over a challenging piece that has just come to market, driving the value up to levels that make the price guides irrelevant.  Persistence and patience is the key here. A Complete Set of 40 coins (including the Barber Quarters) in AU might cost in the $85,000.00 price range, and I estimate no more than 5 sets may be assembled in this grade. This is a 10­year project, in my opinion, and worth every minute.  See below for a complete list of New Orleans Quarters.


63 6410.   New Orleans Barber Quarters (1892-­1909) ­ 18 Coins Like the dimes and half dollars of this era, the Barber quarter ushered in a new era of design in 1892, which coincided with the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.  Like the dime, the obverse features a neoclassical depiction of the head of the goddess Liberty, but the reverse depicts an heraldic eagle with the “O” mint mark just below the eagle’s tail feathers. Collecting all the New Orleans Barber Quarters in About Uncirculated or better grade is a superb option for those who think such a set of the Barber quarters from all the mints is unattainable (mainly due to the difficulty of the 1896­San Francisco and the 1901­S San Francisco in anything other than the lower grades). A complete set in AU could be valued at approximately $10,000.00, and I believe something like 70 sets are possible to complete in the AU grade.  If you are dedicated, you should be able to complete such a set in less than 3 years.  See below for a complete list of New Orleans Barber Quarters.


71 7211.   New Orleans Half Dollars (1838­-1909) ­ 48 Coins  The Complete New Orleans Half Dollar Set includes more coins than any other single series of silver coins from this mint.  Like the quarters, finding all the dates in higher grade and with nice eye appeal may be an especially competitive hunt.  “Slow and steady” probably wins this race, as less patient collectors may lose heart and drop out…hopefully selling their coins in the process so you can snap them up!  Estimating a price for the complete set in About Uncirculated is highly speculative, but with that in mind expect a value range of about $67,000.00 for all 48 coins, which includes the Barber coinage.  How many sets can be assembled in AU?  Probably no more than 7.  This set can probably be assembled in 10+ years.  See below for a complete listing of New Orleans Half Dollars.


75 7612.   New Orleans Barber Half Dollars (1892­-1909) ­ 19 Coins  The size of the Barber Half Dollars really brings out the beauty of the design in higher grades, and 19 beautiful New Orleans coins together is a sight to behold.  The most challenging coin in the set is the 1892-­O “Micro O”, especially in AU or better grade, but the coin is a centerpiece to such a collection that has the potential to become much, much more valuable in time, in my opinion.  Aside from this, the 1896-­O, 1897­-O, and 189-8­O present modest challenges that can be overcome with perseverance.  A complete set may run around $35,000.00 at current levels.  Because of the rarity of the 1892-­O “Micro O”, a complete set in AU condition is a real treasure that as few as 7 people in the world can possibly attain.  Expect 5­7 years, realistically, to complete this set if you are determined to do so.  See below for a complete listing of New Orleans Barber Half Dollars.


77 13.   New Orleans Silver Dollars (1846­-1904) ­ 35 Coins There are three major pros to completing a New Orleans Silver Dollar Set.  First, I’m not sure very many people have thought of doing so, including both Seated and Morgan varieties (if you really want to get a sense of satisfaction, also add the relatively inexpensive Gold Dollars).  Second, the set is among the least expensive sets to attain to be comprehensive for a single Mint, with an approximate value in About Uncirculated condition of 24,000.00.  Third, such sets are rare by any measure, as perhaps only 25 sets may be completed.   3­5 years should be enough time to find all the coins for this set.  See below for a complete listing of New Orleans Silver Dollars.


79 8014.   New Orleans Morgan Dollars  (1879­-1904) ­ 31 Coins This set is very similar to the one above, with the exception of the 4 Seated Half Dollars from New Orleans.  Morgan Dollars from New Orleans are plentiful in About Uncirculated, with only the 1888­-O Doubled Die Obverse and the dates in the mid­-1890’s providing anything like a challenge.  In About Uncirculated, a set like this would likely cost $12,000.00, I think 50 sets can be assembled in the grade,  and I estimate it would take 3 years to complete.  See below for a complete listing of New Orleans Morgan Silver Dollars.


15.   New Orleans Silver Coins Complete Set (1838­-1909) ­ 212 Coins It has been a long time since this has been done, and presently I’m not sure anyone has such a collection, at least not in grades About Uncirculated or higher.  But I believe in the current market environment it is possible to complete such a set.  As U.S. coins in general and New Orleans coins in particular continue to gain popularity, and as advanced collectors turn their attention to collecting these silver coins by mint, I think a complete silver New Orleans set may become a near­ impossibility at any price…in the future.  For now, I can help you accomplish this.  A very approximate cost of such a set might be $250,000.00, but I estimate only 1 or 2 sets like this can be realistically assembled in About Uncirculated Condition or better.  Completing this awesome, and I do mean awesome, collection may take more than 10 years. A Complete Silver and Gold New Orleans set?  To my knowledge, this has only been accomplished once by the legendary Louis Eliasberg, who completed a set of one of each United States Coin.

List of New Orleans Silver Coins

The “mintage” is the number of coins produced that year in New Orleans.  The “Estimated Survivors” refers to undamaged and never harshly cleaned coins that can be certified by NGC or PCGS in ANY grade. The Estimated Survivors numbers cited are from PCGS CoinFacts, a valuable numismatic resource.


Click here to see our current New Orleans coin inventory

Three Cent Silver 1851 Only

27 28

1.  1851­-O.  Mintage:  720,000– Estimated Survivors: 3,500

Half Dime 1838-1860 – 21 Coins

Seated Liberty Half Dime ­ Variety I: No Stars on Obverse (1838)

29 30

1.  1838-­O.  Mintage:  70,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

Seated Liberty Half Dime ­ Variety II: Stars on Obverse (1839­-1853)

31 32

2.  1839-­O.  Mintage 1,060,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

3.  1840­-O  No Drapery.  Mintage:  695,000– Estimated Survivors: 250

4.  1840-­O Drapery.  Mintage:  240,000– Estimated Survivors:  100

5.  1841-­O.  Mintage:  815,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

6.  1842­-O.  Mintage:  350,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

7.  1844-­O.  Mintage:  220,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

8.  1848­-O.  Mintage:  600,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

9.  1849­-O.  Mintage:  140,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

10.  1850­-O.  Mintage:  690,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

11.  1851-­O.  Mintage:  860,000– Estimated Survivors:  350

12.  1852­-O.  Mintage:  260,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

13.  1853­-O No Arrows.  Mintage:  160,000– Estimated Survivors:  112

Seated Liberty Half Dime ­ Variety IIIa: Arrows at Date (1853-­1855)

33 34

14.  1853­-O With Arrows.  Mintage:  2,200,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

15.  1854­-O.  Mintage:  1,560,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

16.  1855­-O.  Mintage:  600,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

Seated Liberty Half Dime ­ Variety IIIb: Arrows Removed (1856-­1859)

35 36

17.  1856-­O.  Mintage:  1,100,000– Estimated Survivors:  350

18.  1857-­O.  Mintage:  1,380,000– Estimated Survivors:  800

19.  1858-­O.  Mintage:  1,660,000– Estimated Survivors:  800

20.  1859-­O.  Mintage:  560,000– Estimated Survivors:  400


Seated Liberty Half Dime ­ Variety IV:  Legend on Obverse (1860) Photo 37,38

21.  1860-­O.  Mintage:  1,060,000– Estimated Survivors:  1000

Dime 1838-1909 – 37 Coins

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety I:  No Stars on Obverse (1838)

39 40

1.  1838­-O.  Mintage:  406,034– Estimated Survivors:  800

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety II:  Stars on Obverse (1839-­1852)

41 42

2.  1839­-O (All without drapery).  Mintage: 1,053,115– Estimated Survivors:  600

3.  1840­-O (All without Drapery).  Mintage:  1,175,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

4.  1841­-O.  Mintage:  2,007,500– Estimated Survivors:  400

5.  1842­-O.  Mintage:  2,020,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

6.  1843­-O.  Mintage:  150,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

7.  1845­-O.  Mintage:  230,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

8.  1849­-O.  Mintage:  1,931,500– Estimated Survivors:  500

9.  1850­-O.  Mintage:  510,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

10.  1851­-O.  Mintage:  400,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

11.  1852-­O.  Mintage:  430,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety IIIa:  Arrows at Date (1853-­1854)

43 44

12.  1853-­O.  Mintage:  1,100,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

13.  1854­-O.  Mintage:  1,770,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety IIIb: Arrows Removed (1856-­1859)

45 46

14.  1856-­O.  Mintage:  1,180,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

15.  1857­-O.  Mintage:  1,540,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,200

17.  1859­-O.  Mintage:  480,000  – Estimated Survivors:  1,000

16.  1858­-O.  Mintage:  290,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety IV:  Legend on Obverse (1860) Photo

47 48

18.  1860­-O.  Mintage:  40,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

Seated Liberty Dime ­ Variety VI:  New Weight Standard (1891)

49 50

19a.  1891-­O over Horizontal O.  Mintage:  Part of 4,540,000– Estimated Survivors:  Unknown (175?)

Barber Dime (1892­-1909)

51 52

19.  1891-­O.  Mintage:  4,540,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,750

20.  1892­-O.  Mintage:  3,841,700– Estimated Survivors:  5,000

21.  1893­-O.  Mintage:  1,760,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,500

22.  1894-­O.  Mintage:  720,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

23.  1895­-O.  Mintage:  440,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000

24.  1896­-O.  Mintage:  610,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

25.  1897­-O.  Mintage:  666,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

26.  1898­-O.  Mintage:  2,130,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

27.  1899-­O.  Mintage:  2,650,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

28.  1900­-O.  Mintage:  2,010,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

29.  1901­-O.  Mintage:  5,620,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

30.  1902­-O.  Mintage:  4,500,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

31.  1903­-O.  Mintage:  8,180,000– Estimated Survivors:  7,500

32.  1905-­O.  Mintage:  3,400,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,500

33.  1905-­O Micro O.  Mintage:  Part of 3,400,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

34.  1906­-O.  Mintage:  2,610,000– Estimated Survivors:  8,000

35.  1907-­O. Mintage:   5,058,000– Estimated Survivors:  12,500

36.  1908-­O.  Mintage:  1,789,000– Estimated Survivors:  10,000

37.  1909­-O.  Mintage:  2,287,000–Estimated Survivors:  10,000



Quarter Dollar- 40 Coins

Seated Quarter ­ Variety I:  No Motto (1840­-1852)

53 54

1.  1840­-O No Drapery .  Mintage:  382,200– Estimated Survivors:  900

2. 1840-­O Drapery.  Mintage:  43,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

3. 1841­-O.  Mintage:  452,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

4. 1842-­O Small Date.  Mintage:  Part of 769,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

5. 1842­-O Large Date.  Mintage:  Part of 769,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

6. 1843-­O.   Mintage:  968,000– Estimated Survivors:  300

7. 1844­-O.   Mintage:  740,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

8. 1847­-O.   Mintage:  368,000– Estimated Survivors:  250

9. 1849­-O.   Mintage:  16,000 (est)– Estimated Survivors:  450

10. 1850-­O.   Mintage:  412,000– Estimated Survivors:  550

11. 1851­-O.   Mintage:  88,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

12. 1852-­O.   Mintage:  96,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

Seated Liberty Quarter ­ Variety II:  Arrows, Rays (1853)

55 56

13.  1853­-O.   Mintage:  1,332,000– Estimated Survivors:  800

Seated Liberty Quarter ­ Variety IIIa:  Arrows, no Rays (1854­-1855)

57 58

14.  1854-­O.   Mintage:  1,484,000– Estimated Survivors:  700

15.  1854-­O Huge O.   Mintage:  Part of 1,484,000– Estimated Survivors:  350

16.  1855­-O.   Mintage:  176,000– Estimated Survivors:  150


Seated Liberty Quarter ­ Variety IIIb:  Arrows Removed (1856­-1860)

59 60

17.  1856­-O.   Mintage:  968,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

18.  1857-­O.   Mintage:  1,180,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

19.  1858­-O.   Mintage:  520,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

20.  1859­-O.   Mintage:  260,000– Estimated Survivors:  350

21.  1860­-O.   Mintage:  388,000– Estimated Survivors:  700



Seated Liberty Quarter ­ Variety VI:  With Motto (1891)

61 62

22.  1891­-O.   Mintage:  68,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

Barber (Liberty Head) Quarter (1892-­1909)

63 64

23.  1892-­O.   Mintage:  2,460,000– Estimated Survivors:  4,000

24.  1893-­O.   Mintage:  3.396,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

25.  1894­-O.   Mintage:  2,852,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

26.  1895-­O.   Mintage:  2,816,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

27.  1896­-O.   Mintage:  1,484,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

28.  1897­-O.   Mintage:  1,414,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

29.  1898­-O.   Mintage:  1,868,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

30.  1899­-O.   Mintage:  2,644,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

31.  1900­-O.   Mintage: 3,416,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

32.   1901-O.  Mintage:  1,612,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

33.  1902-­O.   Mintage:  4,748,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

34.  1903­-O.   Mintage:  3,500,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

35.  1904­-O.   Mintage:  2,456,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

36.  1905­-O.   Mintage:  1,230,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

37.  1906­-O.  Mintage:  2,056,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

38.  1907-­O.   Mintage:  4,560,000– Estimated Survivors:  7,000

39.  1908-­O.   Mintage:  6,244,000– Estimated Survivors:  9,000

40.  1909-­O.   Mintage:  712,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

Half Dollar – 48 Coins

Reeded Edge Capped Bust (1838­-1839) Photo

65 66

1. (Optional for Set ­ Proof)  1838-­O.   Mintage:  10­20– Estimated Survivors:  9

2. 1839-­O.   Mintage:  116,000  – Estimated Survivors:  2,000

Seated Liberty Half ­ Variety I (1840-­1853)

67 68

3.  1840-­O.  Mintage:  855,100– Estimated Survivors:  700

4.  1841­-O.   Mintage:  401,000– Estimated Survivors:  700

5.  1842-­O Small Date.   Mintage:  203,000– Estimated Survivors:  100

6.  1842­-O Medium Date.  Mintage:  754,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

7.  1843-­O.   Mintage:  2,268,000– Estimated Survivors:  800

8.  1844-­O.   Mintage:  2,005,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

9.  1844-­O Doubled Date.   Mintage:  Unknown– Estimated Survivors:  400

10.  1845­-O.   Mintage:  2,094,000– Estimated Survivors:  700

11.  1845­-O No Drapery.   Mintage:  Unknown– Estimated Survivors:  200

12.  1846­-O Medium Date.  Mintage:  2,304,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

13.  1846-­O Tall Date.  Mintage:  Part of 2,304,000– Estimated Survivors:  200

14.  1847­-O.  Mintage:  2,584,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

15.  1848-­O.  Mintage:  3,180,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

16.  1849­-O.  Mintage:  2,310,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

17.  1850­-O.  Mintage:  2,456,000– Estimated Survivors:  800

18.  1851­-O.  Mintage:  402,000– Estimated Survivors:  500

19.  1852­-O.  Mintage:  144,000– Estimated Survivors:  400

20a.  1853-­O (No Arrows or Rays, rare subtype)  Mintage:  4 known

Seated Liberty Half ­ Variety II:  Arrows, Rays (1853)

69 70

20b.  1853-­O.  Mintage:  1,328,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

Seated Liberty Half ­ Variety IIIa:  Arrows, No Rays (1854-­1855)

71 72

21.  1854-­O.  Mintage:  5,240,000– Estimated Survivors:  5,000

22.  1855­-O.  Mintage:  3,688,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,500

Seated Liberty Half ­ Variety IIIb:  Arrows Removed (1856-­1861)

73 74

23.  1856­-O.  Mintage:  2,658,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

24.  1857-­O.  Mintage:  818,000– Estimated Survivors:  600

25.  1858­-O.  Mintage:  7,294,000– Estimated Survivors:  3,000

26.  1859­-O.  Mintage:  2,834,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,600

27.  1860-­O.  Mintage:  1,290,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

28.  1861­-O.  Mintage:  2,532,633– Estimated Survivors:  2,500

29.  1861­-O 4 die pairs identified as Confederate issue.  Mintage:  part of 2,532,633– Estimated Survivors: 250

Barber (Liberty Head) Half (1892­-1909)

75 76

30.  1892­-O.  Mintage:  934,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

31.  1892­-O Micro O.  Mintage:  Part of 934,000– Estimated Survivors:  85

32.  1893-­O.  Mintage:  1,389,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

33.  1894­-O.  Mintage:  2,138,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

34.  1895­-O.  Mintage:  1,766,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

35.  1896­-O.  Mintage:  924,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000

36.  1897­-O.  Mintage:  632,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000

37.  1898­-O.  Mintage:  874,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

38.  1899­-O.  Mintage:  1,724,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

39.  1900­-O.  Mintage:  2,744,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

40.  1901-­O.  Mintage:  1,124,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,250

41.  1902­-O.  Mintage:  2,526,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,750

42.  1903­-O.  Mintage:  2,100,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

43.  1904­-O.  Mintage:  1,117,600– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

44.  1905­-O.  Mintage:  505,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

45.  1906-­O.  Mintage:  2,446,000– Estimated Survivors:  2,000

46.  1907-­O.  Mintage:  3,946,000– Estimated Survivors:  4,000

47.  1908-­O.  Mintage:  5,360,000– Estimated Survivors:  5,000

48.  1909­-O.  Mintage:  925,400– Estimated Survivors:  1,750




Seated Dollar (1846-­1860)

77 78

1.  1846­-O.  Mintage:  59,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,900

2. 1850-­O.  Mintage:  40,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,500

3. 1859­-O.  Mintage:  360,000– Estimated Survivors:  7,500

4. 1860-­O.  Mintage:  515,000– Estimated Survivors:  10,000

Morgan Dollar (1879-­1904)

79 80

5.  1879­-O.  Mintage:  2,887,000– Estimated Survivors: 398,600

6.  1880-­O.  Mintage:  5,305,000– Estimated Survivors:  400,000

7.  1880­-O (80/79 overdate)..  Mintage:  Part of 5,305,000– Estimated Survivors:  20,000

8.  1881­-O.  Mintage:  5,708,000– Estimated Survivors:  570,000

9.  1882-­O.  Mintage:  6,090,000– Estimated Survivors:  498,000

10.  1882-­O/S.  Mintage:  Part of 6,090,000– Estimated Survivors:  11,000

11.  1883­-O.  Mintage:  8,725,000– Estimated Survivors:  875,000

12.  1884-­O.  Mintage:  9,730,000–Estimated Survivors:  975,000

13.  1885­-O.  Mintage:  9,185,000– Estimated Survivors:  925,000

14.  1886-­O.  Mintage:  10,710,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000,000

15.  1887­-O.  Mintage:  11,550,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000,000

16.  1887/6-­O.  Mintage:  Part of 11,550,000– Estimated Survivors:  100,000

17.  1888-­O.  Mintage:  12,150,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,150,000

19.  1889-­O.  Mintage:  11,875,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,187,500

20.  1890­-O.  Mintage:  10,701,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,000,000

21.  1891­-O.  Mintage:  7,954,529– Estimated Survivors:  800,000

22.  1892-O.  Mintage:  2,744,000– Estimated Survivors:  275,000

23.  1893-­O.  Mintage:  300,000– Estimated Survivors:  29,960

24.  1894­-O.  Mintage:  1,723,000– Estimated Survivors:  160,990

25.  1895-­O.  Mintage:  450,000– Estimated Survivors:  37,493

26.  1896­-O.  Mintage:  4,900,000– Estimated Survivors:  490,000

27.  1897-­O.  Mintage:  4,004,000– Estimated Survivors:  400,000

28.  1898-­O.  Mintage:  4,440,000– Estimated Survivors:  444,000

29.  1899-­O.  Mintage:  12,290,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,230,000

30.  1900­-O.  Mintage:  12,590,000– Estimated Survivors: 1,259,000

31.  1900-­O/CC.  Mintage:  Part of 12,590,000– Estimated Survivors:  50,000

32.  1901-­O.  Mintage:  13,320,000– Estimated Survivors:  1,332,000

33.  1902­-O.  Mintage:  8,636,000– Estimated Survivors:  864,000

34.  1903­-O.  Mintage:  4,450,000– Estimated Survivors:  445,000

35.  1904­-O.  Mintage:  3,720,000– Estimated Survivors:  372,000


The 1907 Mexican 20 Centavo of New Orleans

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1.  1907 “Curved 7” Mexico 20 Centavo.  Mintage:  5,434,699– Estimated Survivors:  Unknown (500,000?) Thank you to the “Old New Orleans” site for use of some of the images below.  This website is definitely worth a visit.



The Story of the New Orleans, Louisiana Mint



Founding of the City and The Battle of New Orleans

New Orleans was founded in 1718 by a fellow named Jean­ Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.  As you might imagine, he was French.  He named the city Nouvelle­ Orléans (New Orleans) for the Duke of Orleans, Philip II (not to be confused with a variety of other monarchs named Philip II throughout the history of western civilization).  The City changed hands from the French to the Spanish, then back to the French before becoming a part of the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.  The British never really considered the Louisiana purchase valid, since the U.S. bought the territory from the United Kingdom’s all ­time arch enemy and despoiler of everything noble and good, Napoleon Bonaparte.  To the United States, Napoleon was just another quirky tyrant, and they didn’t really care what the British considered valid or invalid.  While the British were at war with Napoleon they needed lots of sailors to operate their mighty fleet of warships to fight the French to the death.  For some unknown reason, some British sailors preferred to work on merchant ships, unload salted herring at the docks, or to try their hand at potato farming.  Some of them went to America and became U.S. citizens, working on U.S. ships, which were not at war with the French to the death.  The British considered the naturalization of the ex- British sailors invalid too, and so they stopped U.S. ships at sea and forcibly brought their boys back home. This was called “Impressment”.  The Americans weren’t impressed, and partly because of this declared war on the British.  The Americans figured it would be an easy win, considering the British were preoccupied with Napoleon. To the dismay of the Americans, the British kept them on their heels for two and a half years, (although there were some inspiring American victories, especially near the end of the war).  The two sides met and decided to call it a draw on December 27, 1814 when the warring parties signed the Treaty of Ghent. News of the treaty and ratification took a couple of months back in those days, and the British figured they would make the best use of the lag ­time by capturing New Orleans.   Although they figured the American garrison there was weak, and the impetuous commander by the name of Andrew Jackson largely inept, they left nothing to chance.  The attacking British army was composed mostly of veteran soldiers who had just beaten Napoleon at Waterloo.  These guys were not pansies by any stretch of the imagination.  They ate leather for fun, slept on sharpened bayonets, and didn’t flinch when a palmetto bug ran up their pant legs. You get the idea.  There were lots of them, and they were coming for New Orleans. It turns out the defending Americans, though small in number, weren’t so weak as the British imagined, and Andrew Jackson not so impetuous and inept as they thought either.  Jackson had a bone to pick, since as a boy he’d been mistreated by the British army during the American Revolution.  He made sure the invaders had hardly a moment’s rest by harassing them from the moment they landed, and prepared a brilliant defense.  Still, Jackson and the Americans needed everything to go exactly their way and then some to win against the British army (did I mention they were tough?).  Everything went the Americans’ way.  The British helped the Americans along by forgetting to bring their ladders when they had to scale the American earthworks.  The British also had to face volunteer riflemen from Kentucky and Tennessee.  The Kentucky riflemen grew up shooting squirrels between the eyes at 300 yards, so you can imagine what they did to soldiers in red marching across an open field, or to generals on horseback shouting and waving their arms. The sound when The Americans under Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans was the sound of the world’s collective jaw dropping. Unfortunately for the Americans, the war was already over, so beating the redcoats at New Orleans didn’t affect the terms of the treaty.  But New Orleans stayed American, and Andrew Jackson went on to accomplish a thing or two as well, I hear, like getting himself on the $20 bill.  But I digress.  Andrew Jackson remembered New Orleans fondly, and when the time came to build new U.S. Mints, New Orleans was at the top of his list.

Gold and Silver…upstream! Between 1815 and 1840, the population in New Orleans increased more than tenfold, which is partly explained by the fact that they had no television.  New Orleans was (and is) situated at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico, making the city the go ­to port for imports from Central and South America coming into the U.S.  Among the goods that flowed into the United States via the port of New Orleans were the large quantities of gold and silver mined in Mexico and countries in South America. Cotton and finished goods made the return journey.  With all this transactin’ going on, banks were needed to facilitate the trades, and until 1843 only New York could compete with the trade and banking enterprise of New Orleans on the North American continent.  In fact, imports to the Port of New Orleans were greater by a sizable margin to those of the Port of New York during this period.  On the other hand, historians agree that when it came to quality pizza, New York won by an even bigger margin. With the discovery of gold in North Carolina and Georgia, Andrew Jackson, now President of the United States, decided it was time to relieve the pressure on the overworked mint employees in Philadelphia and open other Mints in the South to turn all the new gold into coins.  Jackson may have figured he could pay for construction of the new mints with all the overtime he wouldn’t have to pay the guys in Philadelphia any more.  In any case, Mints in North Carolina and Georgia made sense because of their proximity to the gold discoveries, but the new legislation also gave the President the perfect excuse to reward the site of his military victory.  Although no gold or silver to speak of was ever discovered in Louisiana, the imported South American gold justified the construction of the New Orleans Mint. Here are the three new Mints authorized by the Coinage Act of 1834: 1.    The Charlotte, North Carolina Mint (site of the first U.S. gold rush in 1799) ­ Mint Mark “C” 2.   The Dahlonega, Georgia Mint (rich gold deposits were discovered here in 1828) ­ Mint Mark “D” 3.   The New Orleans, Louisiana Mint (the longest running of the Southern Branch Mints) ­Mint Mark “O”

A Classical Edifice on a Swamp

new orleans 1 Now that the law was passed for a New Orleans Mint, all that was left to choose was the site for the construction, the designer, the plans, the Superintendent, the Assayer, the Coiner, the…ok there was a lot to be done.  The site chosen was where an old fort once stood, but had been turned into a park called “Jackson Square”, in honor of the hero of the Battle of New Orleans.  Unfortunately, “Jackson Square” rested on what was essentially a swamp.  According to Wikipedia, “ Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix (he was also French) described it in 1721 as a place of a hundred wretched hovels in a malarious wet thicket of willows and dwarf palmettos, infested by serpents and alligators.”  But what did he know? Architect William Strickland Was chosen to Design the Mint facility.  Since he had already designed the Second Bank of the United States, the Merchant’s Exchange in Philadelphia, and was commissioned to design the Charlotte Branch Mint in North Carolina, the talent search did not take very long.  Knowing that New Orleans was famous for its French Quarter with Parisian ­inspired wrought­ iron decor and Creole culture, Strickland opted to design the Mint in the Greco­-Roman style.  Naturally.  He also designed it with the solid ground of Philadelphia in mind, not the swamp of Jackson Square.  As a result, the building needed serious reinforcement more than once.  In 1854, the Treasury hired an engineer named Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard to make a number of repairs, including rebuilding some arches to support the basement so the building would not sink into the muddy earth.  He finished this and other major improvements in 1859. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was also the Confederate General who ordered the attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, the first engagement of the Civil War.      .

The Great Divide

battle-of-new-orleans The State of Louisiana seceded from the Union in January of 1861 and adopted the Confederate constitution in March of 1861.  Coining operations continued at the New Orleans Mint at this time, although nearly all the coins retained the old design.  A number of studies have now made it possible to know with near ­certainty which half dollars from New Orleans in 1861 were produced under CSA authority.  These Confederate issue 1861­O half dollars feature certain die characteristics, one of the more famous of which features an obverse die crack from Liberty’s nose to the rim near 12:00.  In October of 1865, some six months after the end of the war, the steamship SS Republic (formerly the SS Tennessee) sank in a hurricane off the coast of Savannah, Georgia.  In its hold were a large number of silver and gold coins, including “uncirculated” and “about uncirculated” 1861­O half dollars, some of which had one or more of the Confederate States of America die characteristics.  These coins were recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc in 2003, and with patience may still be located by collectors today. In 1879, news surfaced that four half dollars were minted in 1861 which bore a special design unique to the Confederate States of America. These were the only CSA ­designed coins to be officially struck.  The obverse of the coin features the Seated Liberty of the U.S. half dollar, but the reverse, rather than showing the Eagle, depicts a shield with 7 stars, highlighted by sugarcane and cotton, a Phrygian cap above.  One of the four coins was personally owned by Jefferson Davis.  As you probably guessed, these four surviving CSA half dollars are worth a little more than Aunt Ethyl’s roll of wheat pennies she showed off to you last LAbor Day.  The most recent auction appearance of a CSA designed Half Dollar  brought $881,250.00 in January 2015. A Confederate issue One Cent was also pursued while the New Orleans Mint remained under confederate authority.  Robert Lovett of Philadelphia, a jeweler for the Firm Bailey & Co. (later Bailey, Banks, and Biddle) was asked to design them.  He did, and struck exactly 12 coins from his Philadelphia workshop.  At this point, Mr. Lovett began having second thoughts, and hid the dies and the coins to avoid the charge of treason.  Some 12 years later, the coins resurfaced after Mr. Lovett accidentally spent one at a bar in Philadelphia.  The barkeeper noticed the coin as unusual, and contacted a numismatist friend of his to look at it.  The collector tracked down Mr. Lovett and bought both the dies and the coins so he could make copies and sell them as souvenirs.  The 12 original specimens are worth far more today than the later strikes. Today, it is difficult to conceive the horror of a war that tore a new nation asunder; a war in which families opposed one another on bloody battlefields, a war in which over 600,000 soldiers lost their lives ­ more than every other U.S. war combined.  In at least one incident, the Mint at New Orleans played a central role: The New Orleans Mint, and the city as a whole was recaptured by the Union in 1862 by Admiral David Farragut.  Marines under his command raised the U.S. flag over the Mint building, which generated anger and hatred in the city.  One of the residents, a steamboat gambler by the name of William Bruce Mumford, climbed to the top of the New Orleans Mint and removed the U.S. flag, tearing it to shreds and stuffing the scraps in his shirt.  When the military governor of the city, General Benjamin Franklin Butler, heard of the outrage he ordered Mumford hanged for desecration of the stars and stripes.  Mumford was hung from the horizontal flagpole of the New Orleans Mint on June 7, 1862. General Butler may have suffered some remorse or at least regret for the act, as years later, when he was a politician in Washington, he helped Mumford’s widow find employment there.

Into the 20th Century

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Although a lot of the equipment at the New Orleans mint had been damaged during the Civil War, the facility was seen as too valuable to remain idle or a mere assay office, and in 1879 coin production began again. The New Orleans Mint Revival saw production of Morgan Dollars, Barber coinage, Liberty Head gold coins with the new Motto “In God We Trust”.  The Mint even boasted one year’s production of the Indian Head $5 gold half eagle in 1909.  1909 was the last year any coins were minted in New Orleans, after which the building was used as an assay office, a prison, a Coast Guard storage facility, a fallout shelter, and finally a museum.  It was damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Today the U.S. Mint building in New Orleans houses a Jazz Museum, pottery, historical artifacts from the French and Colonial period, and a tribute to the days when it represented the economy and wealth of a Nation still striving to determine who she was. The New Orleans Mint 400 Esplanade St. New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 568-­6968, (800) 568­-6968 Click here to see coins available for sale now from the New Orleans Mint Do you have questions about coins from the New Orleans Mint? Would you like me to help you build a set or find a coin?   Feel free to contact us HERE or email [email protected]