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1796 Ten Dollar, BD-1, MS62
16 Star Obverse, 11 Leaves Reverse Subtype

1796 $10 MS62 NGC. Breen-6832, Taraszka-6, BD-1, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Obverse State c / Reverse State b. It is a numismatic curiosity that there are five varieties or die marriages known among the 1795 eagles, yet only a single pairing is known for the 1796 eagles -- despite recorded mintages that are within about 20% of each other, 5,583 pieces for 1795 and 4,146 for 1796. There were an even smaller number of 1797-dated Small Eagle tens struck, 3,615 in all, before the reverse design ceded to the Heraldic Eagle reverse, which lasted through the series' cessation in 1804. There is but a single known die variety for the 1797 Small Eagle tens as well.
Both the 1796 and 1797 issues are far rarer than the 1795-dated coins overall, despite the relatively similar production totals. The 1796 and 1797 issues are technically design subtypes within the series. All of the 1795 eagles, whether of the 9 Leaves or 13 Leaves reverses, have the obverse stars arranged 10 left, five right -- a total of 15 stars. The 1796 tens have a 16-star obverse, with a symmetrical eight and eight star layout, and an 11 Leaves reverse. (J.W. Dannreuther notes in the Bass-Dannreuther reference that Florida coin dealer Eric Steinberg called this the "eagle on skis.")
This piece shows a needle-sharp strike at the peripheries, but a bit of softness occurs at the centers. No adjustment marks appear on the lemon-yellow, semiprooflike fields, but a few faint file marks can be seen in the hair with the aid of a glass. This piece shows a vertical die crack through the bust and minor clash marks on the reverse. A scattering of minor contact marks explains the grade, but none of them are singular or worthy of further note. Census: 4 in 62, 2 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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