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    Description

    1796 Capped Bust Right Eagle, AU55
    Scarce One-Year Small Eagle Subtype
    8x8 Stars, 11 Leaves, BD-1

    1796 $10 BD-1, R.4, AU55 PCGS. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a. According to Mint records, only 4,146 Capped Bust Right eagles were struck in 1796, the second year of gold coinage operations at the First United States Mint. A single pair of dies was used to strike all the eagles, with the obverse displaying 16 stars, to commemorate the admission of Tennessee to the Union on June 1, 1796. The obverse shows the stars arrayed in an 8x8 arrangement, which was changed to 12x4 the following year. Some recutting shows on star 15 and all the stars were from a punch with a small notch in the side of one point. The reverse exhibits 11 leaves in the palm frond, with a linear rust lump in the field, below the third leaf. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse was used again to produce the BD-1 Small Eagle variety of 1797. Die evidence confirms there was a remarriage of these dies, with the coins from Die State d/c being struck after the 1797-dated Small Eagle coins. John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population of this issue at 125-175 examples in all grades.

    The 1796 Capped Bust Right eagle was a collector favorite from the earliest days of the hobby, with a typical early auction appearance in lot 1931 of the John F. McCoy Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 5/1864), "1796 Uncirculated, almost proof, extremely rare." The lot realized a strong price of $35.50, to Ohio collector Heman Ely. Prices realized have increased exponentially over the years, with recent sales including the AU55 NGC specimen in our February 2014 Long Beach Signature, which brought $64,625.

    The present coin is an impressive Choice AU specimen, with lightly abraded orange-gold surfaces that retain traces of original mint luster and semiprooflike reflectivity in sheltered areas. Only light wear is evident on the strongly impressed design elements and the overall presentation is most attractive. Population: 16 in 55, 27 finer (6/20).

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 45715, Base PCGS# 8554)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,059

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