An attractive Bass-Dannreuther-9 Taraszka-21 $10 gold eagle certified AU-58 by PCGs will be offered in the Rarities Night session of our Spring 2023 Auction. The BD-9 die marriage is one of two that uses the sole Large Stars obverse die; the other is BD-10. This exceedingly scarce marriage, from a relatively small overall mintage of 37,449, was struck late in 1799. We know that these two varieties were the last produced with the 1799 date, because the Large Obverse Stars style continues through the end of the circulation strike Capped Bust Right series in 1804. Apparently, the small obverse star punch broke during production of one of the earlier 1799-dated obverses and was replaced by a device punch for a large, thick star.
This coin is from the holdings of Harvey Jacobson, Jr., whose complete die marriage set of early gold eagles we were honored to present in our recent Winter Expo Auction. Per our cataloger, the BD-9 eagle that we will be presenting in the spring offers “a softly frosted texture with much of the original mint finish remaining. Warm, deep orange-olive color is seen throughout, and the surfaces are free of all but a few trivial handling marks that are consistent with the assigned grade. BD Die State a/b.” The reverse die was damaged relatively early in the mint process after roughly 1,250 strikes for the BD-9 marriage, which is thought to account for the small surviving population. The obverse die continued in use, as the BD-10 marriage exhibits an early die state on its obverse. Far more examples of the BD-10 marriage are known.
Between 14 and 18 BD-9 1799 eagles are believed to exist; PCGS reports just two other grading events: one in AU-58, the other in MS-62. The other example in AU-58, part of Jacobson’s die marriage collection, was used as a plate coin in the Bass-Dannreuther reference and it realized $50,400 when we offered it in our Winter 2022 Auction.
Opportunities to own a BD-9 die marriage are fairly rare, making this a notable opportunity for discerning collectors looking for a high-grade example of this elusive marriage.