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Lot 3311


Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 3311
Date 1795
Side obverse
Grade 62
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 8551
Denomination $10
Description 1795 $10 13 Leaves MS62+ NGC. CAC. BD-1, High R.3. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a. Perfect dies, with no discernable die cracks. This is the only use of this obverse die, though the reverse was also employed for the BD-2 variety of the same year. BD-1 is the most plentiful of the five 1795 gold eagle varieties, though this is only relatively speaking, as just 225 to 325 examples are believed to survive in all grades. This was the first die pair used to strike gold eagles in 1795. Two deliveries in September 1795, totaling 1,297 coins, are all believed to have consisted of pieces from this die marriage, and it is likely that more were struck later with the same dies, as the 5,583-coin mintage attributed to the year 1795 was not fully delivered until March 1796. It remains possible (however, unlikely) that more 1795-dated pieces were struck following this March 1796 tally. In the early days of the Mint it took a considerable amount of time and labor to prepare a working die, so it was common practice to use dies until they completely failed, whether they were outdated or not. The eagle was the second gold denomination struck at the Mint, following a small run of half eagles a couple of months before. BD-1, being the first variety struck and also being the most available of the date, makes it ideal from many perspectives to represent the type. While by no means in the majority, prooflike examples are known, and these are some of the most beautiful early gold pieces in American numismatics. This piece is just such a coin, with substantial semiprooflike mirroring seen in the fields on each side. The strike is generally well-executed, with strong border dentils and above-average definition on the eagle's feathers, though some minor softness is noted on the hair curls behind Liberty's ear. The patina is undeniably original, with deep orange-gold hues seen in the recesses and warm honey-gold color over the remainder of each side. Faint remnants of adjustment marks are observed on portions of the reverse border, but actual abrasions are light and minimal. Overall, this is an immensely attractive Mint State example of the first gold eagle produced by the U.S. Mint. Census: 18 in 62 (1 in 62+), 18 finer (8/14). Ex: Abner Kreisberg (10/1966), lot 3695; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $152750.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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