1795 $10 13 Leaves MS (PCGS# 8551)

The March 2012 Baltimore Auction

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Lot Description
1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle. Taraszka-1, BD-1. Rarity-3+. 13 Leaves. MS-64 (NGC). A towering specimen of this coveted first year of issue with the obverse showing a capped bust of Liberty facing right, with LIBERTY above and date below. Stars are arranged 10 by 5 adding a layer of protection for the open fields. On the reverse there is a small eagle with outstretched wings, in his beak he holds a laurel wreath and is perched on a branch with thirteen leaves, symbolizing the original colonies. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the eagle. There is no statement of denomination and given that most coinage was weighed in transactions, none was particularly needed. At that time in our history, coins from many countries circulated side by side, and it took many years for the Philadelphia Mint to produce enough domestic coinage to drive out the coins from other countries.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When the original proposal was made for our coinage but the founding fathers, the highest denomination authorized was&nbsp;to be the $10 gold piece. Struck in .917 fineness gold with the balance a blend of copper and silver to give the planchet more strength and durability to withstand circulation. The recorded mintage of 1795 eagles came in at 5,583 pieces, of which a tiny fraction survives today.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Examination finds a high degree of mint frost on the devices, producing a slight cameo&nbsp;on the obverse where the fields show enough reflectivity to induce this effect. The strike is bold for one of these, as the coining equipment was stretched to its limits to coin these large planchets. On the reverse the eagle is similarly frosty with slight mirroring in the surrounding fields. Traces of adjustment marks are noted on the rims and dentils, and handling marks are few and far between. Given the immense amount of study and searching for examples of this rare coin, one can be reasonably certain that more won't turn up after 217 years, certainly not thi
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