Europe has long been a source for U.S. gold coins, thanks to
investors who exported the coins from the United States in huge
quantities before and after restrictions were placed on domestic gold
ownership in 1933.
While many of these gold coins are common, scarcer and rarer pieces
occasionally surface. In March, an 1873-S Coronet gold $10 eagle was discovered in
Europe, according to Stack's Bowers Galleries. The coin (also
known as a Liberty Head eagle) will be offered at auction in May as a
part of the New York Rarities Sale by Stack's Bowers and Sotheby's.
While it has not been disclosed where or by whom the classic U.S.
coin was found, we do know that it is already considered one of the
finest known examples of the 1873-S eagle. Professional Coin Grading
Service has graded the coin Mint State 62, making it the highest
certified example, states Stack's Bowers. The firm notes that it ranks
higher than the MS-61 piece formerly in the Harry W. Bass Collection.
Mintage records indicate that 12,000 examples of this coin were
struck, and researchers Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth state that it is an
"underrated date," in their gold coin encyclopedia. The late
numismatic author David Akers noted that this date is rare in any
grade and is virtually unknown in Uncirculated or Mint State.
The newly discovered 1873-S Coronet eagle will be offered as lot 70 at the New York Rarities Sale.
The May 20 auction will primarily feature high-grade gold coins,
according to the two auction houses.