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    Description

    Choice AU 1795 Nine Leaves Eagle A Legendary Early Gold Rarity

    1795 $10 9 Leaves AU55 PCGS. Breen-6831, BD-3, Taraszka-3, R.6. Although all early eagles are rare, the Heraldic Eagle type (1797 to 1804) is more obtainable than the introductory Small Eagle type (1795 to 1797). The latter type has a total recorded mintage of 13,344 pieces, unevenly divided between seven known die marriages. For the first year 1795, five die varieties are known. Four of these have 13 leaves on the reverse. BD-3 has only nine leaves, and has to be regarded as an engraving error. Presumably, the die engraver used 9 leaves to prevent a crowded appearance, and was unaware that four states (presumably Southern states) were symbolically removed as a result. The Nine Leaves is the rarest among the seven Small Eagle varieties, and is the key to a Guide Book collection of early eagles, if the virtually non-collectible mid-1830s novodel proof 1804 is excepted.
    This is an evenly struck example that has consistent yellow-gold toning. A strike-through is noted over the inner point of star 8. This strike-through, like most others, was caused by a small amount of packed debris on the die at the moment of striking. This debris acts as part of the die, but since it is raised, and the die is in opposite relief to the coins it produces, the debris causes a depression on struck pieces. Often, this debris remains on the die for many strikes, and reflects a lack of attention on the part of the coiner, who should clean the dies once strike-throughs begin to appear on struck pieces. Breen-6831 notes, "Usually with flan chips (foreign matter adhering to dies?)." A smaller strike-through of similar origin affects the tip of the middle palm leaf, and other mentionable strike-throughs are present on the right edge of Liberty's neck and on the obverse field midway between Liberty's mouth and star 12. Sometimes, strike-throughs are referred to as planchet flaws, but this term is inaccurate, since the cause of the depression is the die and not the planchet.
    The obverse features parallel striations, most apparent on the hair beneath the cap, but also noticeable near the date. These striations are mint-made, and were present on the planchet prior to strike. They are adjustment marks, believed caused by a mint worker filing the planchet to bring it within weight standards. These are usually found on only one side of the coin, and are generally located near the edges and on the devices. They are rarely visible on the open fields, since this represents the highpoint of the die. A third mint-caused feature of note is the die breaks through the first T in STATES and the tip of palm leaf 8. These are present on every coin struck from this die state, and should not be confused with laminations, which they somewhat resemble. The Harry W. Bass, Jr. specimen, currently on loan to the ANA museum, has these identical die breaks.
    Since the grade is AU55, slight wear is appropriate, and is present on the eagle's neck, and on portions of Liberty's cheek, forehead, cap, and drapery. Satin luster percolates across the devices and legends, and is diminished across the exposed fields. Relevant marks are few, although we mention a minor rim nick on the reverse before 9 o'clock, and a small cluster of faint pinscratches between the IB in LIBERTY. The dies are lightly rotated counterclockwise. Certified in a green label PCGS holder. Examples of the Nine Leaves variety appear in Heritage auctions only about once per year, and the last three offerings were in NCS holders, with problems such as a harsh cleaning or a removed mount. The appearance of an unimpaired Choice AU example presents an uncommon opportunity for the advanced early gold collector.
    From The Essex Palm Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYL, PCGS# 8552)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


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

    View all of [The Essex Palm Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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