1879-O Liberty Head Eagle. Winter-1, the only known dies. EF-45 (PCGS). A handsome example of this key date in the New Orleans Mint eagle series. Toned in warm honey-gold, both sides reveal delicate reddish-rose highlights in a light. There are also ample remnants of a prooflike finish, with the protected areas around the design elements particularly reflective. Sharply defined overall, a shallow graze in the right obverse field inside stars 11 and 12 is mentioned as an identifier.The New Orleans Mint ceased coinage operations on behalf of the federal government in 1861 after Louisiana seceded from the Union. Although limited coinage operations continued at first on behalf of the State of Louisiana and, eventually, the Confederate States of America, the supply of gold and silver bullion was soon exhausted. The specie-starved South did not have the means to support a large coinage. Confederate control of the New Orleans Mint proved short lived, for it returned to federal control after Union forces under Commodore David Farragut seized the city on April 29, 1862. Coinage operations resumed on behalf of the federal government in 1879, the driving force being the introduction of the Morgan silver dollar the previous year and the need to produce large numbers of those coins pursuant to the terms of the Bland-Allison Act. Indeed, the New Orleans Mints Morgan dollar production in 1879 amounted to 2,887,000 pieces. Token mintages of eagles and double eagles were also achieved in New Orleans in 1879, both of which are now regarded as among the rarest issues for their respective types.The coin offered here is a survivor from a mintage of just 1,500 pieces and one of fewer than 100 1879-O eagles believed extant. According to Douglas Winter (<em>Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint: 1839-1909</em>, 2018 edition), this is the second rarest New Orleans Mint eagle of the Motto design type, trailing only the 1883-O. The offering of any 1879-O ten is an important opportunity for advanced collectors, and the present aesthetically pleasing Choice EF will attract strong competition when it crosses the auction block.