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Late Die State 1804 BD-1 Eagle, AU55

1804 $10 Crosslet 4 AU55 NGC. Breen-6847, Taraszka-31, BD-1, High R.4. This piece has all the cracks described by Taraszka, and also has an obverse crack from the border through star 11 to Liberty's lower lip. There is also an extremely faint crack between the tops of L and I.
The early eagles began with coins dated 1795, and ended with coins dated 1804, although the last eagles struck at the Mint during that time frame were actually dated 1803. The 1803 BD-6 eagles and the 1804 BD-1 eagles share a common reverse die, and that die is in a later die state on the few surviving examples of the 1803 BD-6.
At one time the 1804 eagles were thought to be extremely rare. In his 1960s era monograph, Walter Breen suggested that about 25 to 30 examples survived in all grades, calling it Low R.6. At that time, Breen had yet to understand the emission sequence, writing that "the single 1804 obverse die was not put into use until the latter part of December." In his 1980 auction analysis, David Akers noted the rarity of the issue that he said was "about the same rarity as the 1796." More recently, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth state that "it is easier to find any other date among early eagles." Today an estimated 80 to 100 examples survive, still placing this issue solidly in the scarce category. Writing about the 1804 BD-1 eagle variety, John Dannreuther notes that "the 1804's rarity has been exaggerated by some numismatists and researchers, as today it is believed between 80 and 100 examples still survive. This still is a scarce issue and the 1804 date makes it extremely popular. It is the only 1804-dated eagle that is available to collect."
This attractive piece has light green-gold surfaces with reflective fields on both sides. Some minor scuffing in the left and right obverse fields is inconsequential. Most design details are sharply defined, although Liberty's profile is typically weak.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# BFYU, PCGS# 8566)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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