US Coins

Market Analysis: 1797 Capped Bust gold $10 eagle

Graded by PCGS as AU Details, Graffiti, this 1797 Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle gold $10 eagle offered solid eye appeal and realized $16,800 at Stack’s Bowers’ Nov. 14, 2023, Rarities Night session.

Image courtesy of Stack's Bowers

Professional Coin Grading Service uses the term “Graffiti” to note “a deliberate engraving or punching of letters, numbers or simply random designs into the coin,” and it is one of the more severe type of damage qualifiers from a market perspective.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered such a coin, a 1797 BD-3 (in the Bass/Dannreuther reference to early U.S. gold coins) Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle gold $10 eagle, at its recent November Rarities Night session.

Graded by PCGS as About Uncirculated Details, Graffiti, the coin, from the Barbado Acres Collection, had solid eye appeal despite its impairments. The cataloger praised its sharp detail and “wisps of pale apricot iridescence and dominant orange-olive color,” while recognizing, “several faint X-shaped scratches in the obverse field are present to explain the PCGS qualifier.”

The collection was built by the consignor’s grandfather in the 1950 and 1960s, where he would pick up coins in his regular trips to New York City from Stack’s and dealer Max Kaplan at 550 Fifth Ave.

It sold for $16,800, providing an opportunity for a collector to own a well-detailed example of a classic 18th century U.S. gold eagle with a bit of luster remaining.

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