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    Resplendent Mint State 1797 Heraldic Eagle Reverse Ten Dollar Gold

    1797 $10 Large Eagle MS63 NGC. Breen-6834. B.2-C, Taraszka 12, R.4. This is a remarkable example of this coveted date which displays a fair amount of mint bloom and seductive coppery-gold toning in areas. The strike is sharp and complete, with all definition remaining in the dies brought out to their full conclusion. The obverse die has been lapped to remove either die clashing or perhaps to lessen die cracks or die rust. The lapping is evident, as several stars on the left obverse are shallow and spindly. A few show traces of die rust on their points, as does the LIB of LIBERTY. The fields and surfaces are wonderfully clean for a delicate large gold coin of the period. Examination will find some minor scratches to the left and right of the date, and another crossing the upper right of the shield near the corner. A strong magnifier will discover the faintest evidence of adjustment marks, some on the upper reverse rim, others crossing the center of the horizontal shield lines. This evidence is virtually undetectable, and most numismatists would miss this feature. In terms of condition, this is one of the finest known of this issue, and well up in the Condition Census for the date. PCGS has graded three examples this high with none seen finer, and NGC has graded this coin and one other as MS63, with a single coin graded higher. For the connoisseur this coin would be a welcome addition to any advanced collection.
    Research by Anthony J. Taraszka has determined that most of the 1797 Heraldic Eagle Reverse coins were actually struck after the 1798/7 eagles. This was determined by studying die states and the fact that one of the reverse dies was used to coin both 1798/7 and 1797 eagles. That reverse shows additional die cracks on the 1797 coins, proving they were struck after the 1798 pieces. Furthermore, the same obverse die was used to strike all three of the 1797 Heraldic Eagle varieties. The present coin is from the final state for the obverse and reverse dies: both were retired after this marriage. On the obverse, the extensive die lapping is seen on the stars, and the crack from the rim through the second 7 in the date to the drapery above is a later state than earlier marriages, with a broad thick expanse below the 7; an additional thin die crack extends beyond the southeast point of star 8 (only on this die marriage). On the reverse, minor die cracks pass from the rim through the left serifs of the R in AMERICA to the uppermost leaf. A thin crack extends through the C of AMERICA to the pair of leaves below. Another thin die crack runs upward from the reverse rim through the eagle's tail, central vertical shield lines, horizontal shield lines, and the first U of UNUM into the eagle's neck. This coin is truly an American classic, as it represents one of the finer examples from the earliest period in our Federal coinage in top quality condition for this issue.(Registry values: P3) (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, 2006
    26th-29th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,059

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