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    Description

    1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle, MS64
    First-Year Issue, 13 Leaves, BD-4
    Only One Finer Coin at NGC

    1795 $10 13 Leaves, BD-4, R.5, MS64 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b, with the peripheral die crack across the upper obverse and a pronounced die lump to the left of the first A in AMERICA. Although the quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle were all authorized by the Mint Act of 1792, the United States Mint did not strike gold coins of any denomination until 1795. The delay was the result of the exorbitant $10,000 bond requirement the Mint Act placed on certain Mint personnel before precious metal coinage could be produced and the paucity of gold deposits in the early days of the Mint. Congress lowered the amount of the bonds Assayer Albion Cox and Chief Coiner Henry Voigt had to provide by 1794, and a suitable supply of gold for coinage was on hand at the Mint by mid-1795, clearing the way for gold coinage to begin.

    Mint records indicate only 2,795 Capped Bust Right eagles were delivered in 1795, all struck between September 22 and November 27. However, it is almost certain that many of the eagles delivered in 1796 were struck from 1795-dated dies. The Mint frequently continued to use serviceable dies after the calendar year ended, as a cost-saving measure. Based on die evidence and number of survivors, the 2022 Guide Book estimates the mintage of 1795-dated coins at 5,583 pieces. Five die varieties are known for the date. This coin represents the BD-4 variety, the only variety with the 5 in the date free of the bust. The BD-4 is a scarce variety, with a surviving population of 60-80 examples in all grades. John Dannreuther estimates the BD-4 dies were used to strike between 854 and 1,500 examples of the total mintage. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse was used again to strike the BD-5 variety of this date.

    Collecting Capped Bust Right eagles was popular with early numismatists and the 1795 was a collector favorite from the earliest days of the hobby. Examples began appearing at auction as early as lot 169 of the A.C. Kline Sale (Moses Thomas & Sons, 6/1855), where a specimen sold for a respectable price of $13. By the 1880s, a few collectors were beginning to classify early eagles by die variety. By the time he sold his collection in June 1885, Philadelphia collector John Colvin Randall had identified at least four die varieties for the 1795 Capped Bust Right eagle. In lot 841 of the catalog of his collection, which he sold through prominent dealer W. Elliot Woodward, Randall described an example of his variety number 1 that sounds a lot like the present coin:

    "1795 No. 1; reverse, small standing eagle holding an olive wreath, a leaf in the olive branch turns down, but does not touch the U in UNITED; splendid, nearly proof, very rare."



    The lot realized a strong $16. Collector demand and prices realized for the issue have risen spectacularly over the years. The last time the present coin was offered, nearly eight years ago, it realized $264,500.

    The coin offered here is a spectacular Choice specimen, one of the finest examples of the scarce BD-4 variety still extant. The design elements are sharply detailed in most areas, with some softness on the eagle's breast and dentils, due to some faint planchet adjustment marks that were not completely struck out. The well-preserved yellow-gold surfaces show only minor signs of contact, with a few highlights of orange. The fields exhibit considerable prooflike reflectivity throughout and overall eye appeal is outstanding. This coin will be a welcome addition to the finest collection or Registry Set. Census (for all 13 Leaves varieties): 3 in 64, 1 finer (3/21).
    Ex: Chicago Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 4/2008), lot 856; Chicago ANA Rarities Night (Stack's Bowers, 8/2011), lot 7703; Pre-Long Beach Auction (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 9/2013), lot 2158.
    From The Selman Family Collection, Part II.

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 45712, Base PCGS# 8551)

    Weight: 17.50 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


    View all of [The Selman Family Collection, Part II ]

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