Lustrous 1803 BD-3 Eagle, MS611803 $10 Small Stars Reverse MS61 NGC. Breen-6844, Taraszka-28, BD-3, R.4. In addition to the smaller sized obverse stars, this variety is also attributable by the position of the E in STATES which is almost entirely left of the break in the clouds. Of the six varieties of 1803 tens, this is the most frequently seen die combination. The 1803 is a scarcer date among early tens. Of the 15,017 pieces believed to have been struck of this date, more than half (7,500-10,000 pieces) are believed to have been of the BD-3 variety. However, as with all early gold, attrition took a heavy toll. Today the most reliable estimate is that 150-200 pieces are extant of this die variant (making it an R.4). The Dannreuther-Bass reference mentions that only 93 auction appearances were recorded of this die marriage between 1990 and 2005.
On this piece, one of the most immediately obvious elements are the strong striking details on each side. The hair curls are sharp and the breast feather definition is far above average for the type. That being said, the peripheral stars on the obverse do show some weakness. The coin is bright overall with yellow-gold color, and the fields display the often-seen semi-prooflikeness common to many early gold coins. There are a few shallow adjustment marks on the lower reverse that are worthy of mention, but these do not detract from the overall beauty of this important early ten.
From The Estate of Jack Lee Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2629, PCGS# 8565)
Weight: 17.50 grams
Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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