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    1796 Eagle, AU58
    BD-1, Only Variety of the Date
    Scarce Early Small Eagle Issue

    1796 $10 BD-1, R.4, AU58 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b. This attractive Small Eagle ten displays the vertical die crack almost always seen through the cap on the 1796 coins, below the E in LIBERTY. The reverse die is early in its life, proving that this piece was coined before 1797-dated pieces that used the same reverse die. Some later die states of the 1796 eagle were coined after the 1797 Small Eagle tens. The scenario creates confusion regarding original mintage figures. Some of the 4,146 eagles reported for 1796 were actually dated 1795, and some of the 3,615 eagles of 1797 were actually dated 1796.

    While the 1795 Small Eagle tens are relatively plentiful, those dated 1796 and 1797 are much rarer. John Dannreuther estimates a total survival of about 500 1795-dated eagles, about 150 1796-dated eagles, and only 60 1797 Small Eagle tens. For all of those issues, higher grades are much rarer. An accurate condition census of early eagles is nonexistent but such a record is highly needed.

    There are probably only 10 to 12 different Mint State 1796 eagles surviving today, with a couple dozen AU coins also known. The 1796 eagles have long been a favorite of collectors, although recent auction appearances are infrequent. Our most recent appearance was an attractive MS62 NGC coin in lot 5757 of the Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2014) that realized $164,500.

    This near-Mint specimen received a slightly lesser grade, but it is highly lustrous with only a trace of wear on the high points. Both sides have minuscule marks that are expected for the grade, and light adjustment marks are visible in the hair. This impressive piece, with its slightly reflective fields and bright yellow surfaces, offers excellent eye appeal and will grace a fine cabinet of early eagle varieties. Census: 28 in 58, 15 finer (6/15).

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

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,142

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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