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Description

1795 Small Eagle Ten Dollar, AU50
BD-2, 13 Leaves, Popular First Year of Issue

1795 $10 13 Leaves AU50 PCGS. Breen-6830, Taraszka-2, BD-2, High R.4. The first eagles were struck in mid-to-late September 1795, and on September 22 the first group -- 1,097 coins -- was delivered. The second batch, numbering 200 coins, was delivered two days later. There are no records of any deliveries until March 6, 1796, when 5,583 eagles were delivered. Most of these eagles are believed to have been dated 1795, and Dannreuther (2006) writes that Mint officials paid little attention to the date when striking gold, and there are numerous instances where gold coins were struck in different years than was stated on the obverse.
The Mint recorded an emission of 5,583 eagles for 1795, but Dannreuther believes that the total mintage must have been at least 5,859 pieces. Dannreuther suggests that the mintage may even be as high as 10,915 coins, which would mean that 1795-dated eagles were struck well into 1796 and possibly even in 1797.
There are five varieties of 1795 eagles, struck from three obverse dies and three reverse dies. These varieties are divided into two major types: 13 leaves and 9 leaves. The 9 leaves reverse was used only on BD-3 and is very rare with fewer than two dozen examples believed to exist. Of the four 13 leaves reverse varieties BD-1 is the most available with between 225 and 325 survivors.
The present coin is the BD-2 variety. The obverse can be identified by the widely spaced date, with the tip of the 5 touching the bust, and the distance between star 11 and the Y in LIBERTY. On the reverse, one of the leaves in the branch nearly touches the U in UNITED. Dannreuther believes that 90 to 110 examples of this variety still exist from an original mintage of 1,500 to 2,332 coins.
The surfaces of this specimen have an attractive olive-gold patination. The obverse has two series of light, horizontal adjustment marks, which are often seen on early silver and gold coinage. A planchet flaw on Liberty's jaw is noted, and there is a small mark on the upright of the R in AMERICA as well as several small abrasions to the left of the eagle's head. The strike is soft at the centers, but the peripheral details are bold. An attractive example from the first year of the ten dollar gold piece.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ZU, PCGS# 8551)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
11th-14th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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