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    Description

    1801 Eagle, BD-2, MS63
    Spectacular Heraldic Eagle Type Coin

    1801 $10 MS63 PCGS. BD-2, R.2. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b. Gold eagle production was suspended in 1804 in an effort to prevent the coins' from eventually being melted by bullion dealers who sought to profit from their high bullion value (which was slightly higher than their face value), but the problem was not fully remedied until 1834, when the weight of all gold denominations was reduced. By that time, however, large quantities of the earlier, heavier gold pieces had already met their demise via bullion profiteers or, to an even greater extent in 1834, the melting pots of the Mint itself. The resulting scarcity of surviving early gold pieces, particularly of the larger denominations, makes them highly sought-after numismatic relics today.

    The year 1801 had the highest early-period production total of gold eagles (44,344 pieces), and as a result, experienced the highest survival rate, as well. In fact, more high-grade examples of this issue survive than of any other in the series, making it ideal for type purposes. Dannreuther, however, notes:

    "... As noted under the 1800 variety, some of this calendar year's production was likely dated 1800; possibly even some 1799 coins were produced in this year. Because some 1800 coins were struck after the first 1801 variety and there are 10 varieties of the 1799, one can see the validity of this conclusion."



    Of the two known varieties of the 1801 ten, BD-2 (readily attributed by the use of a new, more refined star punch) is far and away the most available, with 600 to 800 examples believed known (compared to just 40 to 50 estimated survivors of BD-1). BD-2 is also the only use of this obverse, though the reverse die was later paired with the lone 1803 obverse to strike the third variety of that issue (BD-3).

    This example of the second 1801 die pairing displays subtle apricot hues over rich green-gold luster on each side. The design elements are sharply impressed, and a lack of any noticeable surface abrasions only heightens the immense visual appeal. Faint roller marks are noted on portions of the reverse, most noticeably across the shield, but file adjustment marks appear to be absent from the surfaces. Vertical clash marks from the shield stripes on the reverse, seen in Liberty's cap, identify the die state. Overall, this is a beautifully preserved Mint State representative of this popular Heraldic Eagle type. Population: 37 in 63, 38 finer (6/14).(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
    August, 2014
    5th-9th Tuesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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