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    Description

    1801 'Spiny Obverse' Ten, BD-2, AU58
    Great-Looking Type Set Candidate

    1801 $10 AU58 PCGS. BD-2, R.2. John Dannreuther is a noted numismatic scholar, yet it is curious that he virtually ignores the presence of the small, regular "spines" that appear on most survivors of the BD-2. The 1801 BD-2 tens are the most available early eagles, and many survive in high grade. He writes:

    "This reverse die was used again for the third variety in 1803 (BD-3) after the lone obverse for that year was paired with two other reverse dies to create BD-1 and BD-2 of that date. By the die states, Bass aligned the varieties of 1803. However, the obverse used here is not known with any serious damage, so its cause of retirement is not known. The reverse used here was undamaged in this pairing and has only a light crack known in its 1803 pairing for BD-3. Again, we sometimes have too few examples to determine what caused a particular die to fail."



    We believe the "spines" on the obverse may be the culprit. They are definitely not the result of any die clashing, as they fail to match any feature on the reverse that could create them. A few scarce examples of the 1801 BD-2 die marriage are known without the spines. They appear, then, to be intentional creations, much like the 1794 Starred Reverse large cents. Perhaps the intentional obverse "decoration" was noticed late in the production run by Mint officials, and the decision was made to destroy the obverse die (and perhaps causing retribution for the culprit? So much of early Mint history is lost to us today).

    This example is a beautiful honey-gold coin with some reddish high-point accents and lightly abraded, somewhat prooflike surfaces. A top-notch coin for a type set.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 2627, PCGS# 8564)

    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
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 728

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