1839-O Classic Head Quarter Eagle. HM-1, Winter-1. Rarity-3. High Date, Wide Fraction. MS-64+ (PCGS). CAC. <strong>Die Variety: </strong>HM-1, Winter-1. Obverse 1: The two obverse dies of this issue are easily distinguished by the position of the date. On Obverse 1, the date is high and relatively distant from the denticles. Reverse N: The two reverse dies of this issue are also easily differentiated, in this case by looking at the fraction in the denomination. For coins struck from Reverse N, the digits in the fraction are widely spaced. The 1839-O HM-1 represents the only use of both the obverse and reverse dies in the quarter eagle series.<p><strong>Die Emission Sequence: </strong>The HM-1 pairing probably accounted for the first 1839-O quarter eagles struck and, as such, the first coins of this denomination attributed to the New Orleans Mint.<p><strong>Die State: </strong>Representing the typical obverse die state of the variety, this coin shows faint clash marks within Libertys ear from the stripes in the reverse shield and weakness to the hair curls around the letter Y in LIBERTY due to die lapping. The reverse die was in an advanced state when this coin was struck, as evidenced by multiple cracks: through the letter I in UNITED to the uppermost leaf in the branch; through the tops and bottoms of the letters in the word STATES; connecting the bases of the letters in the word OF; from the top of the F to the border. Softness of detail along the lower reverse border extends from the letter U in UNITED to the last few letters in AMERICA and is the result of die lapping.<p><strong>Estimated Surviving Population for the Variety:</strong> 300 coins in all grades (per Daryl J. Haynor, 2020), or 67% of extant 1839-O Classic Head quarter eagles.<p><strong>Strike: </strong>Impressively well produced by the standards of the early New Orleans Mint, the obverse is essentially fully struck. The reverse is generally sharp with localized softness of strike at the left edge of the shield.<p><strong>Surfaces: </strong>Thick and frosty mint luster blends with medium gold color on both sides of this lovely near-Gem. Originally and carefully preserved, there are only wispy handling marks that are easily overlooked.<p><strong>Commentary: </strong>Visually stunning and technically superior, it is little wonder that this is the second finest 1839-O quarter eagle of both die pairings known to PCGS. Daryl J. Haynor rates this piece even higher, carrying it as the #1 coin in his 2020 listing of finest knowns for the issue with a grade of "MS65-/A+." No matter what standard is used, the Virginian Collection specimen is an upper end Condition Census 1839-O $2.50 that would serve as a highlight in any cabinet. Sure to sell for a strong bid that is commensurate with its beauty and significance. PCGS# 765181. NGC ID: 25G7. PCGS Population (both die marriages of the issue): 1; 1 finer (MS-65). From the Daryl J. Haynor Virginian Collection. Earlier from our (Bowers and Merenas) Lucien M. LaRiviere Collection sale, Part II, March 2001, lot 45; Heritages Baltimore ANA Signature Auction of July-August 2008, lot 1898. The plate coin for the 1839-O HM-1 variety in the 2020 Haynor reference on Classic Gold coinage.