About Uncirculated 1795 Eagle, A Desirable First-Year Issue1795 $10 AU 53 NGC. B. 4-B. Despite its status as the nation's gold monetary unit, the eagle enjoyed less popularity within financial circles than the smaller half eagle. This disparity was evident since the introduction of both denominations in 1795. As the half eagle had a similar value to foreign gold coins of the period, the Philadelphia Mint concentrated its earliest gold coinage efforts on that denomination. When the government finally initiated eagle production on September 22, 1795, only 5,583 1795-dated pieces were produced between that date and March 30, 1796. In stark contrast, the Mint's initial delivery of 8,707 half eagles was achieved in a much shorter time frame between July 31 and September 16, 1795. Regardless of its limited appeal to banks and merchants, the size of the eagle made it an impressive coin. As a result, curious American citizens saved many examples as first-year souvenirs, but numismatic scholars stress that fewer than 3% of the original mintage survives today in all levels of preservation.
The typical 1795 eagle in today's numismatic marketplace is apt to grade no higher than XF 40. The current specimen, however, displays enough remaining definition to fit comfortably within the About Uncirculated grade tier. Both sides are uniformly reflective and display the modest prooflike finish that typifies the issue. The die lump in the reverse field between OF and AMERICA is diagnostic of this scarcer variety, although both the obverse and the reverse are free of unduly bothersome circulation impairments. Curiously problem-free for an early gold coin, this lightly worn example would do justice to any advanced collection.
From the Joseph J. Abbell Collection of U.S. Gold Coins. (NGC ID# 25ZT, PCGS# 8551)
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