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    Description

    1864-S Ten Dollar Liberty, AU Details
    The Second-Rarest Date in the Series
    Few Known in Any Grade

    1864-S $10 -- Cleaned -- NGC Details. AU. The 1864-S is the second-rarest issue in the entire Liberty eagle series, trailing only the ultra-rare 1875. The San Francisco Mint struck just 2,500 coins in 1864, and this issue circulated extensively. No Mint State coins survive, and NGC does not even list an Unc Details piece. David Akers' perspective on this issue back in 1980 is remarkably similar to current reality:

    "In my 369 catalogue survey, the 1864-S tied for first in the entire series in rarity according to average grade and was second in rarity according to frequency of appearance. Thus it is obvious that from the standpoint of both overall rarity and condition rarity, the 1864-S is one of the rarest dates in the series, more rare than such famous dates as 1798/7, 7x6 Stars and 1858 and only a little less rare than the 1875. Most of the relatively few known 1864-S Eagles grade from VG to VF. Only two or three are known in EF and I am unaware of any 1864-S that grades AU or better."



    About Uncirculated coins are known today, although they are definitely a minority of the survivorship for this issue. In total, PCGS estimates that only 22 to 26 examples of the date survive across all grades. Resubmissions are rampant in the certification totals, and this is exposed by the rarity of auction appearances. Currently, the auction record for the 1864-S is held by an AU55 NGC coin, which realized more than $219,000 in our October 2018 Chicago Signature, lot 3179. Earlier last year, an XF40 PCGS coin in lot 4264 of our February 2018 Long Beach Signature garnered $114,000. Demand has never been stronger for the few surviving 1864-S eagles, with even low-end Details-graded pieces realizing astounding prices.

    The present example is Details-graded, but it is nothing low-end. It represents one of 13 AU Details submissions at NGC, although that figure undoubtedly includes duplication from attempts to get a numeric grade. That said, the only "problem" with this coin is a light cleaning. Both sides are sharply detailed save for trivial softness on the eagle's neck feathers. The fields have scattered chatter and light roughness under a loupe but fail to detract from the overall appeal. Both sides are uniformly brass-gold and satiny. An incredible rarity, seldom offered at this level.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 34
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 427

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