1909-O INDIAN HEAD $5 MS65

Grading Service: NGC
SKU: 133074
Cert Number: 3319393001


In 1909, two American citizens were killed as rebels by the liberal regime of a civil war-torn Nicaragua. In response, the United States sent two warships to the Central American nation and 400 marines landed on its shores. Pressure from the US forced the Nicaraguan President, Jose Zelaya, to resign and the US would go on to keep a military force in the small country until 1933. This 1909 half eagle recalls the beginning of the US occupation of Nicaragua. The 1909-O is the first New Orleans Mint Half Eagle delivered since 1894, and it is the final gold coin struck in this Southern coinage facility. Additionally, it is the only 20th century gold issue of any denomination to bear the distinct O mint mark, and it is the only New Orleans Mint delivery in the Indian Half Eagle series. Finally, the '09-O is the premier absolute rarity of its type with an original mintage of a mere 34,200 pieces. Even in basal Mint State grades, the 1909-O can be extremely challenging to locate, and the handful of Gems extant are among the rarest gold coins ever produced by the United States Mint.

Bela Lyon Pratt's Indian Quarter Eagle and Half Eagle are unique in the U.S. coinage family for displaying incuse (or sunken) designs.  The larger denomination was struck from 1908 through 1929, and it is one of the most conditionally challenging of all Half Eagle types.  Apparently, these coins were roughly handled after delivery, and all issues are scarce-to-rare from a market availability standpoint in grades above MS-62/MS-63.  The leading rarities in an absolute sense are the 1909-O (the series' only New Orleans Mint delivery) and the final-year 1929.
**Source: NGC Price Guide. Although we try to be as accurate as possible on the listed population, third party pricing and coin information, information constantly changes. We suggest you verify all information.