Sharply Struck Near-Mint 1795 Small Eagle Ten Dollar

    1795 $10 13 Leaves AU58 NGC. B. 1-A, Taraszka-1, R.3. A leaf tip touches the U in UNITED on the reverse, a star point nearly touches the Y in LIBERTY on the obverse, and there is a minute extension on the upper left of the Y in LIBERTY--the combination of which easily identifies this piece as a Breen 1-A--the most frequently seen variety of the year. The Small Eagle half eagles and eagles were apparently set aside as mementoes by the curious who encountered them in the 1790s, as the average grade and numbers extant is quite high for the surviving examples of this date. While this is merely speculative, as we have no primary sources to indicate that 1795 Small Eagle gold was set actually set aside, it is abundantly clear that this indeed the case when the 1795 is contrasted to the next year, the 1796, an issue that has a comparable mintage but far fewer survivors. And the popularity of the Small Eagle coinage from 1795 endures to this day with collectors as the first year of the design type. This is an impressive piece of early gold. The striking details are well, but not quite fully brought up in all areas with bright yellow-gold coloration throughout. The fields are semi-reflective, as often seen on this date. Lightly abraded, the most obvious marks that can be used for pedigree purposes are an angling abrasion across the cheek of Liberty on the obverse, and a nick in the field below leaf 6 (counting from right to left) on the lower reverse.
    From The Melrose Bay Collection.(#8551)(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ZU, PCGS# 8551)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

    View all of [The Melrose Bay Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    July, 2005
    27th-30th Wednesday-Saturday
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