US Coins

Editor's pick from Baltimore auction: gold type coin

Gold coins struck in the 18th century at the Philadelphia Mint are always expensive. But occasionally, a problem or two can make an otherwise unobtainable example affordable.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered a 1799 Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle gold $10 eagle at its recent Baltimore Expo auction. Listed as BD-7 in the Bass-Dannreuther reference to the early gold series, it is called the Small Obverse Stars variety in the “Red Book.” 


counterfeit 1834 Classic Head centInside Coin World: Nearly all U.S. coins series are threatened by counterfeiters: Modern counterfeiting risks from China, a counterfeit note from the 1840s newly rediscovered, and a look at Flying Eagle cents, all in the April 8 issue of “Coin World.”


The offered example was particularly pleasing, described as having “overall sharp detail and handsome patina,” with the cataloger adding, “Deep khaki-orange color dominates the in hand appearance, direct lighting calling forth vivid undertones of pinkish-rose.” A nicely centered strike and pleasing general appearance made this a solid example for type purposes. 

A shallow obverse scrape in the lower right obverse field and a scrape below the date led Professional Coin Grading Service to grade it Genuine, About Uncirculated Details, Scratch. It sold for an affordable — for the type — $6,600 at the Feb. 28 Rarities Night sale. 

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