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Description

Commendable Condition Rarity 1846 Eagle, MS62
Tied for Finest Certified

1846 $10 MS62 NGC. The year is 1846. Mormon pioneers begin their trek West from Illinois toward "Deseret," present-day Salt Lake City. Californians, Nuevo Mexicans, and Texians are in conflict with Mexico over various issues, leading to the the Bear Flag Revolt and the Mexican-American War. U.S. President James K. Polk addresses Congress concerning the tension with Mexico, while General Zachary Taylor leads American troops in Texas. The 1846-48 war ultimately leads to the Mexican loss of Alta California and Nuevo Mexico. (The United States has already annexed Texas, in 1845.)
At the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, the concentration is on minor coinage and the utilitarian half eagle. The Philadelphia Mint strikes some 4.12 million large cents in the year, along with more than a half-million Liberty Seated quarters and 2.2 million Seated halves. For 1846 half eagles, the mintage is nearly 400,000 coins--a total that exceeds the combined gold coinage totals for all other mints and denominations for the year.
Astute numismatists will note that the year is actually a portrait of a "typical" year from the pre-1857 era in U.S. numismatics. The copper large cent, silver half dollar, and gold half eagle are the workhorses of early U.S. commerce, produced in much greater numbers than their cousins in other denominations.
So it is that the Philadelphia Mint produced only a meager 20,095 business strikes of the 1846 Liberty Head eagle. Only five examples from the entire issue have been certified in Mint State, all at NGC: one in MS60 and two each in MS61 and MS62 (8/08).
The present piece in MS62 is tied for the finest certified, as the highest-graded PCGS examples are four AU58 coins. This specimen offers commendable yellow-gold surfaces, with a clean, pleasing appearance and prooflike luster on both sides. The few light ticks and reeding marks are consistent with the grade, but the strike is extremely well-impressed, if a trifle short of full on the eagle's left leg, and this coin has plenty of appeal in numerous categories. Census: 2 in 62, 0 finer (8/08).(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 262W, PCGS# 8594)

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Auction Dates
September, 2008
17th-21st
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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