US Coins

Top-graded 1795 Capped Bust $10 in Legend auction

A 1795 Capped Bust, Small Eagle, 13 Leaves gold $10 eagle with a high estimate of $1 million will headline Legend Rare Coin Auctions’s Regency Auction 31 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on March 21. 

The early Philadelphia Mint issue is graded Mint State 64+ by Professional Coin Grading Service and carries a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. 

Legend said in a pre-sale press release that it received the coin at the recent February Long Beach Expo and calls it “very high end for the grade with a rich, original ‘skin’ and wonderful toning,” observing bold luster and “wonderfully thick frost that adds to the coin’s stunning visual allure.” 

1827 Capped Bust half dollarsInside Coin World: Two date styles on 1827 half dollars: The March 18, 2019, issue of ‘Coin World’ offers more than a half dozen columns exclusive to the print and digital editions. Here’s a preview of three of them.

The 1795 Capped Bust eagle represents the first year of gold coin production at the U.S. Mint and the largest denomination authorized by the Mint Act of 1792. Writing in 1791, Alexander Hamilton observed, “The eagle is not a very expressive or apt appellation for the largest gold piece, but nothing better occurs.” Production of the gold eagles began in September 1795 with the first delivery of 1,097 coins on Sept. 22 and continuing throughout the year. 

As Heritage explained when offering a different example, graded PCGS MS-65, at its August 2014 American Numismatic Association auction, “The accepted mintage figure for the 1795 eagle is 5,583 pieces, but records indicate only 2,795 coins were actually delivered in calendar year 1795. Most experts believe the 2,788 pieces delivered in the first three months of 1796 were actually struck from 1795-dated dies, because all 1796-dated eagles have 16 stars on the obverse, indicating the dies were produced after Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796.” That example brought $881,250 five years ago. 

In setting the subject coin’s estimate at $800,000 to $1 million, Legend looked to the PCGS MS-66+ example that soared past its estimate range, $750,000 to $1.2 million, and realized $2,585,000 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s September 2015 Part II auction of the D. Brent Pogue auction. The catalog entry for the Pogue coin called that example “a national treasure” and “quite possibly the finest 18th century United States gold coin in existence.” 

Legend cites another example now graded PCGS MS-65 that brought $675,625 (then certified MS-65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.) at a 2013 Heritage auction, adding that it “has a current asking price of $1,750,000.” 

With these three examples trading at auction during the past six years, Legend considers the offered coin either the third or fourth finest known, writing, “A strong glass reveals some minor mint made die adjustment marks, as well as a few hidden lines and a tiny tick or two on the reverse. Regardless, these marks are totally acceptable for the assigned grade, and they do not have an impact of any kind on the SUPERB eye appeal.” 

The description concludes, “We know a huge round of applause will break out when the hammer falls on this lot.”

Proof 1893-CC dollar

A Proof 1893-CC Morgan dollar graded Proof 65+ by PCGS with a green CAC sticker leads a consignment called the Young Dakota Collection of Proof issues 

Legend writes: “Everything about this coin screams Premium Quality! Boasting ultra deep and brilliantly gleaming mirrored fields that have a strong reflective flash that are clearly that of a Proof and not a Prooflike or Deep Mirror Prooflike Mint State piece.”

The distinctive color, described as “rich toning in diffused shades of teal-blue, pale rose, iridescent orange, and a soft olive-russet blend together for a notable and purely original look,” helped trace the provenance back to the Cornelius Vermeule Collection. 

PCGS Coin Facts lists the sales history of this coin after its offering at Stack’s in 2001 where it was graded by the auctioneer as Choice Brilliant Proof and brought $63,250. It would sell several times at auction in the following decade, most recently at Stack’s Bowers in 2012 where it was graded PCGS Proof 65 and realized $218,500. It was later offered by the same firm at its November 2013 Baltimore sale where it did not meet its reserve of $200,000. Coin Facts, which uses the subject coin to illustrate the Branch Mint Proof issue, states that it was listed on the website of Legend Numismatics on July 16, 2014, for $257,500. In Las Vegas it will be offered at an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. 

Along with the branch Mint Proof 1879-O, 1883-O and 1921-S Morgan dollars, the Proof 1893-CC Morgan is called a Class 1 branch Mint Proof, with contemporary Mint documentation that establishes their status as Proof coins. 

As with several other branch Mint Proofs, official Mint records don’t provide an exact mintage for the 1893-CC Morgan dollar, but today numismatists think that perhaps a dozen were produced to honor the closing of the Carson City Mint. 

Population reports provide a different number but, as Legend writes, “Today, the total certified population (includes duplicate submissions, crossovers, etc.) list 20 graded between PCGS and NGC in all grades and designations. We know, for a fact, over the years certain coins have been regraded crossed over and perhaps their owners have yet to return the old inserts, making for a messy Population Report and Census data from the services.”

Wayne Miller described the 1893-CC Proofs in The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook, writing in 1982, “Although some cameo contrast is evident especially on reverse, this coin is more brilliant than (a) cameo Proof. The fields are deeply mirrored, and the strike is very bold. The piece is an obvious Proof at first glance.” 

Heritage’s Mark Van Winkle pointed out in a 1995 issue of Coin World some diagnostics, including two tiny raised dots to the left of the upper serif of the B in PLURIBUS and a faint die crack through stars 8 through 11 on the obverse, and on the reverse a crack extending through the upper part of AMERICA to the wing above and star below on this example. 

Legend’s next Regency Auction is scheduled for May 16 at Harrah’s in New Orleans. 

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