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Elusive 1798/7 9x4 Stars Eagle, XF45

1798/7 $10 9x4 Stars XF45 PCGS. Breen-6836, Taraszka-9, BD-1, High R.4. The obverse has an unbalanced appearance as the engraver placed nine stars along the left border, leaving a need for just four stars on the right. LIBERTY is especially widely spaced. The reverse is a multi-year die that was also used for 1797 BD-3. In fact, the reverse die was used for both 1798/7 overdates before the 1797 BD-3 and BD-4 eagles were minted. A die crack develops on the reverse of 1797 BD-3 after that die was used with the two 1798/7 varieties. This example has three obverse die cracks, including a prominent crack through the L, cap, and hair, exiting the hair into the left field toward star 3, a second crack from the border to the R crosses the field to the fore curl and continues faintly to join the first crack in the hair, and a third crack branches from the junction of the other two cracks to the hair just above the ear.
Once called a major rarity, the 1798/7 9x4 Stars eagle is scarce, with between 80 and 100 examples known today, according to John Dannreuther in Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, A Study of Die States, 1795-1834. While we have been unable to construct a complete pedigree lineup of this variety, we have a database that includes 191 auction listings in grades from Fine to MS63. The XF45 grade falls almost exactly in the middle of that database, with 87 finer auction appearances and 93 lesser appearances.
A pleasing Choice XF, this specimen has light greenish-gold surfaces and retains generous portions of luster, including field reflectivity around the devices. The surfaces have myriad tiny marks that are consistent with the grade. None of those marks are significant. A pleasing and desirable early eagle.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 4UPT, PCGS# 8560)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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Page Views: 702

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