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Description

1796 BD-1 Small Eagle Ten, AU58
Usual Early State, Cracked Obverse Die

1796 $10 AU58 PCGS. Breen-6832, Taraszka-6, BD-1, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b. The obverse has a vertical die crack through the bust, beginning in the field below the E of LIBERTY, and ending at the bust line over the 9 in the date. The reverse has faint clash marks. It is possible that this cracked obverse die state is actually the earliest found on 1796 eagles, as Dannreuther notes the two earlier die states may not exist. The present specimen is a "true" 1796 eagle, struck in that year. Some later die states were struck the following year, after the coinage of 1797 Small Eagle pieces that used the same reverse die.
Production of gold began at the Philadelphia Mint with half eagles and eagles in the summer of 1795, and continued into 1796 when quarter eagles were added to the coinage arsenal. The largest denomination at the time was the ten dollar gold piece, known as the eagle, since larger double eagles waited for more than half a century.
This example is a little below the Condition Census for 1796 eagles, as a dozen Mint State pieces may exist, and 125 to 150 survive in all grades. This impressive specimen has satiny luster with an impressive blend of lemon-yellow, lime-green, and pale blue toning on each side. The strike is excellent with light wear obliterating some of the eagle's feathers at the central reverse. A few trivial surface marks are evident, but the overall appearance and eye appeal is first rate. Population: 11 in 58, 11 finer (9/11).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYM, PCGS# 8554)

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Auction Dates
October, 2011
13th-16th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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