A survey of 19th century business strike coin
$10 CORONET HEAD, NO MOTTO (1838-1866)
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||EAGLES - CORONET, NO MOTTO
||NGC AU 58
In 1838 The United States mint re-introduced the $10 gold piece or eagle to the U.S. coin lineup. The mint had not produced the denomination since 1804 when President Thomas Jefferson suspended production because the coin was facilitating the export of gold from the U.S.
Christian Gobrecht, who is best known for his beautiful design for the silver dollar, created the motif for this coin. It featured a profile of Ms. Liberty with a crown on her head, and eagle similar to the original design John Reich introduced in 1807. Although there were a few refinements along the way, this design would remain unchanged until 1866 when the motto, “In God we trust,” was added to the reverse.
Finding a Choice AU or Mint State No Motto Liberty Head $10 gold piece is very difficult. These coins received a lot of use during the time that they were issued, and their high face value made it difficult for collectors of the period to set them aside in any quantity. Most pieces fall in the Very Fine and lower end of the Extremely Fine grades.
The 1853 $10 gold coin piece pictured above is an excellent example of this type. It’s surfaces are very smooth with few marks, and the piece has a fair amount of its mint luster remaining although it was in circulation for a brief period which accounts for its AU-58 grade.