Did You Know Only Three Complete Die Marriage Sets of 1795-1804 $10 Eagles Have Ever Been Built?

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ 2022 Winter Showcase Auction includes the Harvey B. Jacobson, Jr. Collection, one of three recorded complete die marriage collections of early U.S. gold eagles. Complete die marriage sets of any series are challenging. While a relatively short series means a smaller number of individual coins needed, the rarity and desirability of many early gold eagles makes the Jacobson Collection a truly remarkable achievement.

$10 gold eagles were introduced in 1795 alongside the $5 half eagles under the terms of the Mint Act of April 2, 1792. Their smaller $2.50 siblings would be introduced the following year.

Die marriages of 1795-1804 $10 gold eagles are cataloged by Bass-Dannreuther and Taraszka numbers, named for Harry W. Bass Jr. and John Dannreuther (coauthors of the 2006 reference Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties: A Study of Die States 1795-1804) and Anthony Taraszka, a collector, researcher, and author of United States Ten Dollar Gold Eagles, 1795-1804. Mr. Taraszka built one of the two other known complete die marriage sets, a collection that realized more than $3.2 million when Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold it in August 2019. Bass and Dannreuther are both legendary names in U.S. numismatics and Bass’ collection of early gold eagles was nearly complete, missing only one marriage

Thirty-two different die marriages are necessary to complete the set, which Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Vice President of Numismatics Vicken Yegparian describes as “challenging yet completable” in the introduction to the Jacobson Collection catalog.

Dan O’Dowd, the titular “Tyrant” of the Tyrant Collection (thought to be the world’s most valuable private coin collection), is the only other person to have assembled a complete die marriage set of early gold eagles. Harvey B. Jacobson Jr. began assembling the collection in early 2002 and completed the set almost exactly 20 years later when in April of this year he purchased the last coin he needed for the set, an 1803 BD-5, Taraszka-30 14-star reverse eagle.

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