Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 1771

1795. 13 Leaves Below Eagle NGC graded AU Details. . BD-1, Rarity-3+. Obverse planchet flaw. Lightly toned. Some minor surface marks. First year of the Type. Production of 1795 capped bust eagles began September 22, with 5,583 struck between that date and March 30, 1796. Some die varieties are from the reverse die with a palm branch bearing 13 leaves (as here), while a fourth variety bears a branch with nine leaves.

All four 1795 obverses bear 15 stars (representing the 15 states in the Union), arranged 10 to the left and five to the right. (Spacing differs on each obverse die, since each star was hand-punched into the die.) LIBERTY is positioned from the upper front of Libertys cap to just in front of her nose, in the same general position on each die

Under the terms of the Coinage Act of 1792, the obverses of all the coins, copper, silver, and gold, had to depict Liberty, then as now an allegorical female figure. The reverses of the silver and gold coins had to depict an eagle. With those requirements in force, and a requirement that certain inscriptions appear on all the coins, mint engraver Robert Scot set to work in 1795 on the eagle designs.

The gold eagle obverse depicts a bust of Liberty facing right and wearing a soft cap (not the pileus or Liberty cap found on the Liberty cap half cent and cent, among other U.S. coins). Libertys hair flows freely, down over her truncated shoulders.

LIBERTY occupies the under border above and to the right of the portrait, with stars arranged along the back of her head and from the Y in LIBERTY to the tip of the bust. The number of stars and their arrangement and exact positioning of LIBERTY vary from year to year.

The first reverse, that of 1795-97, depicts the mandatory eagle, which some believe Scot copied from a sketch or engraving of a first century A.D. onyx cameo held in a museum in Vienna. The eagle holds a small wreath aloft in its beak and a palm branch in its talons. The eagles wings are outstretched. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircles the design (PCGS # 8551) .
Estimated Value $18,000 - 20,000.

Realized $25,300

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