Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $5 (1908-1929)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 34,200
Catalog: KM-129
Obverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Reverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3590g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $314.47 (4/17/2014)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1909 O $5 MS obverse 1909 O $5 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Congress authorized the New Orleans Mint in 1835, and the facility was producing coins three years later, beginning with silver coins in 1838 and gold coins in 1839. The original legislation provided for the first three branch mints of the Philadelphia Mint, requiring Congress to consider all aspects of the distant operations. The first section stipulated locations:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That branches of the mint of the United States shall be established as follows: one branch at the city of New Orleans for the coinage of gold and silver, one branch at the town of Charlotte, in Mecklinburg county, in the state of North Carolina, for the coinage of gold only, and one branch at or near Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county, in the state of Georgia, also for the coinage of gold only. And for the purpose of purchasing sites, erecting suitable buildings, and completing the necessary combinations of machinery for the several branches aforesaid, the following sums, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, shall be, and hereby are, appropriated: for the branch at New Orleans, the sum of two hundred thousand dollars, for the branch at Charlotte, fifty thousand dollars, for the branch at Dahlonega, fifty thousand dollars.

Additional sections of the 1835 Mint Act provided for officers at each branch and their salaries, that the said officers were required to take an oath, and that the direction or control of each branch fell under the jurisdiction of the Mint Director in Philadelphia. The final section of the Act, approved on March 3, 1835, extended all laws for regulation of the Mint to each of the branch mints. The New Orleans branch mint operated from 1838 to 1861, when Confederate sources captured the facility. At the close of the Civil War, coinage operations remained suspended for a number of years. With the substantial need for Morgan dollars following passage of the Bland-Allison Act in 1878, the New Orleans Mint again produced coins beginning in 1879. Operations continued until 1909, when the last coins were struck in March of that year.

The Annual Report of the Director of the Mint for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1910, discusses the idle New Orleans Mint:

The amount of gold which is available for coinage at New Orleans is small, and the total coinage of the country can be done materially cheaper at three mints and with three organizations than at four mints and with four complete complements of officers and employees. The amount of coinage which could be given to the New Orleans Mint under these conditions did not warrant the continuance of operations there, and they were suspended April 1, 1909, and a large reduction of the force made at that time. At various dates in 1910 further reductions were made, and there appearing to be no likelihood that the mint could advantageously resume operations in the near future, the estimates for 1911 have been made for the conduct of the institution as an assay office only.

Frank Aleamon Leach was the Mint director at the time that New Orleans coinage was suspended. At the time, an option to reopen the New Orleans Mint was reserved, although today we know that never happened.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/13/2013

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1909 O $5 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - 750 960 2220 5580 5580 9800 11750 15900 23750 36000 49250 70000 95000 155250 520000 825000 - - - -
$ 6000 10750 13000 17500 26000 40000 53000 76000 105000 168000 565000 925000 - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 936
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/27/2014 AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 April 23 - 27 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1204/Lot# 6539


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/19/1997 NGC AU 53   Teletrade Auction 0929, 929/Lot# 1773 $1,107.75
5/25/2002 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #22081, 22081/Lot# 11715 $7,475.00
2/10/2008 NGC AU 58   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 2422 $12,937.50
12/30/2010 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 545, 552/Lot# 8747 $13,225.00
3/31/2011 NGC AU 53   Stack's Bowers The March 2011 Baltimore Auction, 83/Lot# 6650 $7,516.40
4/27/2011 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(3), 1154/Lot# 5405 $14,950.00
8/11/2011 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(5), 1158/Lot# 7574 $13,800.00
8/30/2013 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers The September 2013 Philadelphia Auction, 195/Lot# 3435 $19,093.75


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1909 O $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base119613191450166825973862434047486002663674197865879997761168314069211212315966428115717134561134561
12371362152219773018402144765166621368977567817691241041112478164192180037582828571219981345610
000000447651666213689775678176912410411124781641921800375828285712199800
000000461255846424715877168487945011047132731877022479520059928712827900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 9776
Owner: H.I.M.
 
Grade: AU Details
Points: 2374
Owner: Mohawk
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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