Best Buy: The $10 Liberty: Better Date—Better Value…
The $10 gold eagle was the longest-lived of America’s circulating gold coins. It was first struck in 1795 and was produced regularly until 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt abolished gold coinage altogether.
Despite being a mainstay of American money, the coin was overshadowed in 1850 with the introduction of the $20 double eagle. As financial institutions gravitated towards the larger $20 coin, the $10 eagle’s mintages trailed off. Indeed, what few numismatists realize is how many $10 eagles from the 1870’s through the early 1900’s had surprisingly low production levels.
In recent years, the $10 Liberty has started to get the attention it deserves. Many dates in the 1860’s and 1870’s have appreciated by 50-200% in the past several years. However, there are still many great values in the series.
For the past year, we’ve been putting aside what we consider the best buys in the $10 Liberty series. These are coins that are 50 or even 100 times rarer than most common dates, yet can be had for less than double the common price.
Assembling this group took a year of searching, but we expect they’ll be spoken for in a short period of time! Call 800-831-0007
or email me today
to add this ‘Better Date – Better Value’ coin to your portfolio.
History – Design – Rarity
The very first $10 gold eagles were struck in 1795. Producing gold coinage was a landmark achievement for the United States; it was a sign of status and advancement as a nation. Established countries like Great Britain, France and Brazil were already issuing gold pieces—and the U.S. was eager to join that club. Unfortunately, America’s gold coinage was initially rejected in international commerce. Merchants preferred to use familiar coins like French 24 Livres or Brazilian 4000 Reis over these new American pieces. As a result, demand and mintages remained very low.
Finally, in 1804, the United States Mint decided to temporarily discontinue the $10 eagle. The smaller $5 half eagle was closer in size to the world’s most recognized and popular gold coins—and as a result, it found some acceptance domestically and abroad.
The $10 eagle, meanwhile, was largely rejected worldwide. American gold coins would face another issue in the 1810’s and 1820’s. As gold spiked during the Napoleonic Wars, U.S. gold coins had greater melt value than face value. An arbitrage play developed; U.S. gold coins could be bought at face value in the states and melted in Europe for a profit.
As world conditions stabilized in the late 1830’s, the United States revisited the $10 eagle. It was brought back in 1838 with a design engraved by Christian Gobrecht. The portrait of Liberty on the obverse was inspired by the portrait of Venus in Benjamin West’s painting, Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All). The motif was extremely well-received and later adopted for the half eagle in 1839 and the quarter eagle in 1840.
A testament to the design’s popularity is the fact that it remained in place until the 20th century. Numismatists refer to this design as the ‘Coronet Series,’ or more frequently, the ‘Liberty’ series.
The best way to describe $10 Liberty production levels is inconsistent. The denomination was in constant competition with the $20 double eagle—and eventually, the latter prevailed as the coin of choice.
For example, from 1881 to 1882, the Philadelphia Mint struck over 6 million $10 eagles. By comparison, that same year, it only struck 2,770 double eagles! The tides would later turn in years like 1889, where Philadelphia released just 4,440 $10 eagles and ten times as many $20 double eagles. As time went on, the double eagle won the ‘mintage war’ just about every year.
It’s also interesting to study the mintage trends on a year-by-year basis. We can only assume the mints severely overestimated demand at times, as evidenced by years like 1901 and 1902. The Philadelphia Mint released 1.7 million $10 eagles in 1901, but the following year produced just 82,400 coins. There are no obvious reasons for this phenomenon other than poor planning—or a desire to make use of excess gold deposits.
While collectors realize that certain dates (like the 1902 Philadelphia) are harder to find, they do not fully appreciate how rare they truly are. In MS62, we found 10 severely undervalued dates that were 54 to 144 times rarer than the most common date. These dates (listed below) have an MS62 population between 159 and 417 total coins—compared to 22,908 coins graded for the 1893 (the most common date).
Despite the tremendous difference in rarity, these ten dates can be had for less than double the common price. These are dates with MS62 populations in the hundreds, while an issue like 1893 has a population in the tens of thousands.
We knew these dates were rare based on the PCGS and NGC population reports, but this was further validated by actually trying to find the coins on the market. After a year of combing through our suppliers’ inventories, we could only find less than 70 coins. It wasn’t just a question of finding these dates at the right price—we couldn’t find them altogether! Common date $10 Liberties can be found in reasonable quantities, but these better dates were basically non-existent.
Just a great coin for a great price…
The $10 Liberty series, as a whole, is an underrated segment of the United States coin market. In the past 4-6 years, many dates have started to appreciate dramatically—and we expect this trend to continue. Scarce issues in the 1860’s and 1870’s are climbing in price, and the later dates are poised to rise as well.
The ten dates we identified are significantly rarer than the most common date, and virtually impossible to locate on the market. They should be worth many multiples of the common price, yet they can be had for less than double the generic value. As more collectors discover the $10 Liberty series, these dates will emerge as the true rarities they are.
MS62 $10 Gold Liberty: Please call for pricing and avaliability.
or email me today
to purchase your coins and to take advantage of the lowest prices in years, before the market discovers the price anomaly.
*Prices are subject to change based upon product availability and due to market fluctuation.