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    1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle, AU Details
    Small Eagle, 13 Leaves, Scarce BD-4 Variety
    First Year of Denomination

    1795 $10 13 Leaves -- Repaired -- NGC Details. AU. BD-4, R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b. Although the United States Mint was established in 1792, no gold coinage was issued until 1795. There were several reasons for the delay, including the high bonds Congress required several key employees to post and the lack of a dependable source of gold. Fortunately, Congress lowered the bonds required for the chief coiner and assayer in 1794, and enough gold was deposited by banks, merchants, and wealthy individuals in 1795 to make a small mintage of gold coins practical. Mint Director Henry William DeSaussure made gold coinage a priority after he took office in 1795, and the first delivery of half eagles was accomplished on July 31.

    Ten dollar gold coinage followed in September, and a total of 5,583 eagles was struck in 1795, with five die varieties known for the date. This coin represents the scarce BD-4 variety, the only variety where the 5 in the date does not touch the bust. The BD-4 has a surviving population of just 60-80 examples in all grades and probably accounted for 850-1,500 pieces of the reported mintage. This was the only use of the obverse die but the reverse was also used to strike the 1795 BD-5 variety.

    The present coin is sharply detailed in most areas, with just a touch of softness on the central reverse. Some light planchet adjustment marks are visible on the eagle's breast and in several locations around the reverse rim, but the only contact mark worth mentioning is a short scratch below the eagle's right (facing) wing. The antique-gold surfaces retain much original mint luster, but some signs of light cleaning are evident, and there is some evidence of tooling in the obverse field. This piece is still an attractive example, despite the noted flaws, and should find a home in a fine collection of early U.S. gold.
    From Christopher Bently's Nob Hill Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    Feb-Mar, 2014
    27th-2nd Thursday-Sunday
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