It was the year 1835. Large quantities of gold were being shipped overland to the East, only to be waylaid by bandits en route. So the U.S. Congress, in a moment of wisdom, declared that branch mints be established in three southern cities, including the grand dame herself: New Orleans.
1851 saw a dramatic uptick in striking quality of No Motto eagles at the New Orleans Mint, and this 1851-O $10 Liberty Head has excellent eye appeal. Type collectors love it, and we think you will too.
Placing arrows in the eagle’s right claw was either a major blunder or a personal militaristic statement by the engraver. In heraldry the right claw, also known as the dexter claw, is the dominant of the two. The Great Seal of the United States, from which this design is taken, has an eagle holding an olive branch in the right claw symbolizing the nation’s great desire to live in peace. It is not known whether the erroneous placement of the arrows was intentional.
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