1881-O Liberty Head Eagle. MS-60 (PCGS). Rich yellow gold patina with significant prooflike reflectivity glowing from the fields. Scattered minor bagmarks are commensurate with the grade but there are no individually distracting blemishes. Uniformly sharp and remarkably attractive to experience in-hand. After the Civil War, the New Orleans Mint did not resume production of the eagle until 1879, and then only in modest quantities. All three of the New Orleans Mint Eagles dated 1880-1882 are important rarities in todays numismatic market. The 1881-O is the most elusive issue in this group, and it ranks third in both absolute and high-grade rarity among the 16 O-mint Eagles of the Motto type. At the time of striking, collecting coins by mintmark had not yet taken off, therefore very little numismatic notice was paid to this issue. Once the 1881-O eagle found an audience, Mint State examples were generally unavailable, making the issue a significant condition rarity. The present example comes down to us from a mintage of just 8,350 pieces, and it is one of perhaps only 135-165 coins extant in all grades (per Doug Winter, G<em>old Coins of the New Orleans Mint: 1838-1909, 2006 edition</em>). It is certainly among the finest known survivors and just 2 coins have been graded higher by PCGS.