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    Description

    1844 Liberty Eagle, MS63
    Underappreciated Gold Rarity
    Finest Known Example

    1844 $10 MS63 NGC. The Philadelphia Mint struck only 6,361 business-strike Liberty eagles in 1844, making the issue is an overlooked rarity in the U.S. gold series. Doug Winter notes:

    "There are a few coins in the $10 Liberty series that are not well-known outside of the core-collecting community of Liberty Head eagles. I would have to rank the 1844 as the number one sleeper in this group and it is a coin whose true rarity even surprised me as I was researching this series."



    The coins were all struck late in the year, with 4,600 pieces delivered on November 30 and the balance on December 31. Ten dollar gold coins were not often needed in the Hard Times economy of that era, accounting for the generally small mintages of the early 1840s. It is unlikely that any of the coins were saved for numismatic purposes, as coin collecting was still in its infancy at that time and collecting large denomination gold coins was too expensive for the average 19th century collector, in any case. An unrecorded, but certainly small number of proofs were struck in 1844, and these probably satisfied the limited collector demand of that era. The proofs were struck from a different die pair than the business strikes,making it possible to distinguish between true proofs and prooflike regular-issue coins. As rare as the proofs are (two or three examples known), Mint State coins are equally elusive in today's market.

    PCGS CoinFacts estimates 50-75 1844 Liberty eagles survive today in all grades, and only two coins have been certified in Mint State (1/18). One of those pieces is the MS61 NGC specimen offered in lot 14138 of the Twelve Oaks Collection (Heritage, 9/2016), and the other is the finest known coin offered here. We have been unable to trace the prior history of this piece, as no Mint State examples of this issue have been publicly offered since the 1940s, except for the Twelve Oaks MS61 example, which has appeared twice in Heritage sales since 2002. Doug Winter suggests this may be the J.F. Bell coin, which was described as "Uncirculated choice" in that 1944 auction, but the lot was not plated and no definitive documentary evidence has come to light.

    Whatever its history may be, this coin is undoubtedly the finest-known example, with well-detailed design elements and reflective prooflike fields. This coin shows some diagnostic die lines from the dentils under star 1 and near star 3, and the date is placed higher than it is on the proofs. Die striations show in the prooflike fields on both sides and the yellow and orange-gold surfaces show some minor chatter, as usually seen on prooflike coins. The overall presentation is most attractive. This coin should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Census: 1 in 63, 0 finer (1/18).
    From The Admiral Collection. (Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 262S, PCGS# 8590)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Admiral Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2018
    22nd-27th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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