Choice AU 1795 13 Leaves Ten, BD-1
    First Eagles Struck at the Mint

    1795 $10 13 Leaves AU55 NGC. Breen-6830, Taraszka-1, BD-1, High R.3. Two lumps at the top left of the Y in LIBERTY are diagnostic for this obverse, and on the reverse a leaf nearly touches the U in UNITED. BD-1 is the most available Small Eagle variety, with between 225 and 325 examples believed to exist. As such, the variety is a perennial favorite among type collectors as a representative of the first ten dollar gold pieces struck by the United States.
    The ten dollar piece was the jewel of American coinage and the largest denomination until the introduction of the double eagle in 1850. The two other gold coins, the quarter eagle and half eagle, were expressed as fractions of the more significant eagle. However, the denomination of choice for most transactions (both international and domestic) was the half eagle, which had greater mintages than the more impressive eagle. Early ten dollar pieces were minted for just ten years, 1795 to 1804, and their production would not resume until 1838. These coins, labeled as the "most majestic of the early gold issues" by John Dannreuther (2006), are among the most important issues of the United States.
    The present coin has mostly pale yellow coloration with occasional orange accents on the high points. The strike is bold throughout. Scattered abrasions are seen on both sides, as one would expect from a large-sized gold piece, but there are none that merit specific mention. The fields retain a good amount of luster.
    With most Mint State examples near or well above six figure prices, an About Uncirculated example is an excellent choice for a collector. This Choice AU piece has outstanding eye appeal and would make an superb addition to a carefully assembled set of early gold pieces.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ZU, PCGS# 8551)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    5th-9th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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