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    Important Mint State 1796 Ten Dollar

    1796 $10 MS62 PCGS. Ex: Byron Reed Collection. B. 1-A, Taraszka-6, the only known dies, R.4. This is only the third Mint State 1796 Eagle we have offered at for sale at auction over the last 14 years, an excellent indicator of the absolute and condition rarity of this second-year issue. Unlike the first-year 1795, the 1796 does not appear to have been saved in significant numbers at the time of issue. No doubt the public's initial fascination with this, the largest gold denomination then in production at the U.S. mint had waned by the time delivery of 1796 Eagles began on June 2. This issue is unique in that the obverse die displays 16 stars arranged 8x8; the mint added the sixteenth star to recognize the admission of Tennessee to the Union. Although mint records indicate that 6,934 Eagles were produced in 1796, only 4,146 pieces are believed to have actually been dated 1796. The balance of this mintage probably was struck from 1795-dated dies.
    The R.4 designation that Taraszka assigns to this issue indicates that 75-200 examples are believed extant. We feel that this range is correct, but the actual number of surviving examples probably tends toward a High R.4 designation. In Mint State, the 1796 is rare, with just 22 coins known to NGC and PCGS in grades that range from MS60-MS63.
    The present example is moderately prooflike with some softness of strike in the centers--not uncommon features for the date. The overall definition on the reverse is a little bolder than that on the obverse, but both sides are free of individually bothersome abrasions. Struck on a faulty planchet, small to moderate voids are noted in the fields, particularly on the obverse. This is possibly the result of tiny gas bubbles being present under the surface of the planchet before the design was struck. At the time of impression, the heat caused minute surface flaking to occur. The otherwise green-gold color yields to warmer yellow-gold hues at direct angles. An important opportunity for the advanced collector. Population: 3 in 62, 2 finer (10/05).(#8554) (Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYM, 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
    November, 2005
    2nd-5th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 901

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