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    Elegant and Rare 1797 Large Eagle Ten, BD-3, AU50

    1797 $10 Large Eagle AU50 PCGS. Breen-6835, Taraszka-11, BD-3, R.5. BD Obverse State d/Reverse State b. The stars are arranged 10 left, 6 right on this obverse, the only die used with the Large Eagle or Heraldic Eagle reverses. However, the obverse die was first used to create the BD-2 1797 Large Eagle tens, which show longer star points on stars 9, 10, and 16 than on the later BD-3 and BD-4 variants, as Harry Bass, Jr. noted in his core collection notes. On the BD-3 and BD-4, the innermost points of those stars are progressively shortened due to die lapping.
    On the BD-3 reverse the Robert Scot die has a short, thin neck on the eagle, with no star underneath. Although the Bass-Dannreuther reference calls the stars arranged in an "irregular cross pattern," to this (GH) cataloger's eye the stars fall into a nice, gently arcing pattern of three rows, containing five, six, and two stars, respectively, as viewed from top to bottom rows. The arrowheads extend to the center of the N in UNITED, and the eagle has no tongue.
    The reverse of this variety was actually used for four different eagle varieties: first the 1798/7 BD-1 variety, then the 1798/7 BD-2, then the 1797 BD-3, and finally the 1797 BD-4. The striking sequence can be established through comparison of die states (or stages), although determining the actual mintage of the various flavors requires a good deal of guesswork, as Bass-Dannreuther points out.
    The obverse is in an early state of State d, in that the two die cracks beneath the 7 have merged into a small cud due to die crumbling, and the star points on the left show minor shortening. On the reverse, there is a light crack joining the tops of UNITED.
    The present lovely example of this rare variety offers distraction-free greenish-gold surfaces. Light adjustment marks are visible in the center reverse, along with some minor clashing in the right obverse field. There are few singular abrasions, however, and close perusal with a loupe reveals good luster and premium appeal, along with the impression that this elegant piece may be slightly undergraded. Certified in a green-label holder. (Registry values: P3)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25ZY, PCGS# 8559)

    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
    April, 2008
    16th-18th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,059

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