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Description

1796 Small Eagle Ten, BD-1, MS61
Sole Die Pairing of the Year
More Elusive Than the 1795 Issue

1796 $10 MS61 NGC. BD-1, R.4. The 1796 ten dollar gold pieces featured the Small Eagle reverse with the obverse stars arranged 8 left and 8 right, 16 in all. The die must have been prepared and the coins struck after June 1, 1796, when Tennessee became the 16th state to be admitted to the Union. (In contrast, all three known obverses for the 1795-dated eagles have 15 stars arranged asymmetrically, 10 left, 5 right, although some could obviously have been struck in the calendar year 1796.) It is interesting to ponder why the 1795-dated eagles show an asymmetrical star arrangement, while the 1796 is symmetrical; it would have been just as easy to arrange the stars 10 and 6 or 9 and 7.
The Small Eagle tens were produced only dated 1795, 1796, and 1797 before the reverse design was changed to the Large Eagle (Heraldic Eagle) motif for the remainder of the series, through 1804. John Dannreuther writes that the Small Eagle reverse coins were actually struck only from September 1795 until about June 1797. The 1796- and 1797-dated eagles, despite the published mintages, are seen far less frequently overall than the 1795 tens, of which five varieties are known.
This Mint State 1796 Small Eagle ten would make an excellent type coin for any collector who desires to find "something different" rather than the usual first-year 1795 type. This piece is boldly lustrous with yellow-gold accented by reddish patina around the device outlines and at the rims. A bold die crack vertically bisects the portrait of Liberty from above the cap to the bottom of the bust, and the crack from star 15 of state d runs to the rim, but none of the other cracks from that state appear. No obvious clashing or cracks appear on the reverse. This piece shows a few distributed marks and wispy scrapes that account for the grade, but there are no overly severe marks. No planchet adjustment marks appear on either side. This piece offers fantastic eye appeal overall, a super combination of rarity, quality, and historic interest.
From The Victoria Rose Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYM, PCGS# 8554)


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Auction Dates
January, 2013
9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,159

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