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1796 Capped Bust Right Ten, AU50
Scarce Second Year of Denomination
Only Variety for the Date, BD-1

1796 $10 AU50 PCGS. Breen-6832, Taraszka-6, BD-1, R.4. According to Mint records, 4,146 Capped Bust Right eagles were coined in 1796, but many of these coins were probably dated 1795. John Dannreuther estimates the mintage of 1796 dated coins might be as low as 3,500 pieces, with a surviving population of 125-175 examples in all grades. Die state evidence indicates some 1796 dated specimens were actually struck in 1797, after the 1797 Small Eagle coins were struck, further complicating the situation.
Only one die variety is known for the date. The reverse features a palm frond with 11 leaves, different from the branches displayed on 1795 dated eagles, which exhibited either 9 or 13 leaves. This difference was noted by collectors in the 19th century, as evidenced by the description of lot 845 of the Randall Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 6/1885), "1796 No. 1; reverse unlike any of the preceding; uncirculated, very fine; obverse, slightly haymarked; rare." The same reverse was used to coin the 1797 Small Eagle mintage. As a date, 1796 eagles are more difficult to locate than their 1795 counterparts, but the 1795 has several varieties that are rarer than the single variety of 1796.
The present coin is a pleasing AU50 example, with well-struck devices that show only light traces of wear. The surfaces are an attractive peach-gold color, with some remaining mint luster, and patches of prooflike reflectivity in sheltered areas. A few grade-consistent abrasions are noted in the obverse field and on the portrait, but they do little to detract from the considerable eye appeal. Population: 12 in 50, 44 finer (6/11).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYM, PCGS# 8554)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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