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    1796 Capped Bust Right Eagle, AU58
    BD-1, Only Variety for the Date
    Reflective Prooflike Fields

    1796 $10 BD-1, R.4, AU58 PCGS. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b. Only 4,146 Capped Bust Right eagles were struck in 1796, with a single die variety known for the date. As a date, the 1796 eagle is much more difficult to locate than its 1795 counterpart, as it has a surviving population of 125-175 examples in all grades, but its rarity is somewhat underappreciated in today's market. The obverse displays 16 stars to commemorate Tennessee's admission to the Union. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse was used again to strike all the eagles in 1797.

    The 1796 eagle is an elusive issue that was extremely popular with 19th century collectors. The date was appearing regularly at auction by the mid-1860s, as evidenced by the appearance of the coin in lot 2735 of the Sixth Semi-Annual Sale (W. Elliot Woodward, 3/1865):

    "1796 Perfectly uncirculated, the rev. surface proof, obv. scarcely less fine; very rare."

    The lot was purchased by Thomas Cleneay for $35, a strong price at the time. The record price realized for a 1796 eagle is $411,250, brought by the spectacular MS62+ PCGS specimen in lot 2093 of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part II (Stack's Bowers, 9/2015).

    The coin offered here is an eye-catching near-Mint specimen, with lightly marked yellow-gold surfaces that show prooflike reflectivity in the fields of both sides. The design elements are sharply detailed and a heavy vertical die crack extends from the field below E in LIBERTY all the way through the bust, ending above the 9 in the date. Some light clash marks show on the reverse. Close inspection with magnification reveals some faint planchet adjustment marks on the central devices, but they are nearly imperceptible to the naked eye. Overall eye appeal is outstanding. (NGC ID# BFYM, Variety PCGS# 45715, Base PCGS# 8554)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    2nd-6th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 32
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,193

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