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Description

Terminal Die State 1799 Breen-4E Eagle

1799 $10 Large Stars Obverse MS64 NGC. Breen-6840, B-4E, Taraszka-19. R.3. This is the terminal die state for the variety with extensive obverse die defects. All dentils from below the hair curl to those at the point of star 2 are merged by crumbling. There is a small rim break over star 7 and another over star 8. Faint clash marks are seen around Miss Liberty. The left obverse has several different die cracks through the stars with a prominent crack through the left side of E in LIBERTY, with another through TY and the stars on the right. A minor crack appears in the field near the border at star 12. The reverse has minor rim crumbling at CA of AMERICA. Faint clash marks are visible in the shield, and a diagonal die line is positioned below the right arm of T in UNITED.
The Heraldic Eagle design, by Robert Scot, copied the quarter eagle and half eagle designs, using the Great Seal as a pattern for the reverse. Unlike the quarter eagles and half eagles, however, every reverse of the new eagle denomination had 13 stars, a uniform characteristic. The first coins of this design, dated 1797, had 16 obverse stars and 13 reverse stars, a highly unusual situation. This was corrected with the 1798 overdate dies, and from then through the end of this denomination in 1804, all dies had 13 stars on each side.
This is a splendid example of Breen's Irregular Date obverse. The date is laid out with the digit 1 far from the hair curl and the final 9 much closer to the drapery. This is exactly opposite of the usual lay-out for all other obverse dies of this year and most obverses for the design. Choice quality examples of this date or variety are not rare relative to all early gold coins. This is actually the third most plentiful early eagle in mint state grades, behind only the 1799 Taraszka-22 and 1801 Taraszka-25 varieties. This example has brilliant greenish-gold luster with very sharp design elements. A few very minor abrasions, primarily on the reverse, keep this from Gem quality.(#8562) (Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 2625, PCGS# 8562)

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Auction Dates
September, 2004
9th-11th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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