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    1796 BD-1 Draped Bust Eagle, AU58
    Prooflike Surfaces, Sole Variety for the Year
    Important Condition Rarity From the Early Mint

    1796 $10 BD-1, R.4, AU58 PCGS. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b+/b. Early eagles struck between 1795 and 1804 can be classified into two major types based on their reverse design. Small Eagle coins were struck for three years, beginning in 1795 and ending in 1797, while the Large Eagle design was implemented from that year forward. Within the Small Eagle type are four different styles based on the number of obverse stars, the positioning of those stars, and the number of leaves (or palm fronds) on the reverse branch.

    The 1796 ten dollar (BD-1, only dies for the year) features 16 obverse stars arranged eight left by eight right. There are 11 leaves on the branch, as opposed to 13 or nine leaves, as was the case in 1795. The 16 stars represent each state admitted to the Union up to that point. Tennessee became the 16th state to join on June 1, 1796, so these coins must have been produced from that point onward. The dies are in an early state, one that Dannreuther does not mention in his seminal reference, Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties. A crack begins to form in the field below the E in LIBERTY and runs vertically down past the cap to the temple area. On later states, the crack travels all the way to the edge of the bust above the 9.

    The reported mintage for the 1796 eagle is 4,146 coins. That may include an unknown number of coins dated 1795, so it may be that as few as 3,500 1796 ten dollar gold pieces were struck. The accepted survival rate is 125 to 175 representatives. Examples are very rare in the upper levels of AU and only 15 or so Uncirculated 1796 eagles are graded higher.

    Prooflike surfaces are typical of a high-grade, early die state coin from such a small mintage. The reverse, in particular, is boldly contrasted. A razor-sharp strike is evident on each side, and just a trace of blending occurs over the cheek and eagle's breast. Wispy abrasions are numerous but undistracting. A single pinscratch above the 6 merits mention. Population: 16 in 58, 11 finer (1/18).
    From The Admiral Collection.

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

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

    View all of [The Admiral Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2018
    22nd-27th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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