Coin Specifications

Category: Classic Head $2.50 (1834-1839)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 17,781
Catalog: KM-56
Obverse Designer: William Kneass
Reverse Designer: William Kneass
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.8990
Weight: 4.1800g
AGW: 0.1208oz
Melt Value: $156.48 (4/20/2014)
Diameter: 18.2mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1839 O $2.5 MS obverse 1839 O $2.5 MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

On March 3, 1835, Congress passed 'An Act to Establish Branches of the Mint of the United States.' Section 1 of that Act authorized branches in New Orleans, Charlotte, and Dahlonega, and provided funds for property and facilities: '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.'

The Act also specified that officers would be appointed, outlined salaries, provided for an oath of office, specified that general direction of the branches would be maintained in Philadelphia, and extended all coinage laws to each of the branches.

Three years passed before the three facilities were completed and ready for coinage. In New Orleans, the first coins issued were half dimes and dimes each dated 1838. The 1838-O half dollars would follow. Quarter dollars and quarter eagles followed in 1839, half eagles in 1840, eagles in 1841, silver dollars in 1846, gold dollars in 1849, double eagles in 1850, a single three cent piece in 1851, and a single three dollar piece in 1854.

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


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/4/2013

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

1839 O $2.5 MS
Base $ 400 450 600 975 1900 1900 3150 4050 5650 8000 11000 13800 23000 28000 47500 87500 - - - - -
$ 2350 3500 4450 6150 8800 12000 15000 25000 32500 64500 97500 - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 309
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/16/1999 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1163, 1163/Lot# 1534 $896.75
2/6/2006 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 73, 78/Lot# 999 $1,380.00
6/17/2010 NGC MS 60   Stack's Bowers The June 2010 Baltimore Auction, 41/Lot# 3498 $1,725.00
8/11/2010 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2010 August Boston, MA Signature & Platinum Night ANA Coin Auction #1143, 1143/Lot# 10798 $1,380.00
1/30/2011 PCGS AU 50   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 2056 $3,335.00
9/2/2012 NGC MS 61   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 2007 $8,970.00
1/6/2013 NGC MS 62   Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2013 January 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 3021/Lot# 20118 $16,450.00
5/19/2013 PCGS AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/19/2013, 75/Lot# 116624 $12,375.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1839 O $2.5 MS
1839 O $2.5 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 3216
Owner: MercP
Grade: AU Details
Points: 1263
Owner: JTO
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

Opportunity Knocks In Golden State-Trio Of Early June Auctions A Gold Mine For Collectors

5/30/2013  — Rare Coin Market Shows Unprecedented Strength and Scope. Goldberg's, Bonham's and Heritage's Sales Take Spotlight; Key Date, Low Pop and High Grade Coins Will Be Targeted in Long Beach.
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer