Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $10 (1838-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 25,801
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 16.7200g
AGW: 0.4837oz
Melt Value: $889.49 (5/11/2021)
Diameter: 27mm
Edge: Reeded
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1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS obverse 1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The most comprehensive background to the 1838-39 type is given in Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia, which we quote here in part: 'Verbal orders of President Jefferson had stopped mintage of eagles as of December 31, 1804. But in July 1838, after two different acts altering the weight and fineness standard of U.S. gold coins, the Secretary of Treasury instructed Mint Director Robert Patterson to resume coinage of this denomination at once. Acting Engraver Christian Gobrecht prepared new dies, and on Dec. 6, four 'specimens' (proofs?) went to the Secretary of Treasury, followed by 7,200 business strikes. Gobrecht copied the head of Venus in Benjamin West's recent painting Omnia Vincit Amor, (Love Conquers All) with slightly changed headdress but with the same triple beaded cord on her bun, and the same coronet (here inscribed LIBERTY), this is the same prototype used for the latest style of cents in 1839, differently modified. A very similar obverse design was resurrected in 1839 for pattern half dollars, with the head reversed and the curl on the back of Liberty's neck removed (see Judd-91 to 96 or Pollock 101-108). A slicked-up version of the old John Reich eagle served for reverse, on 1839 'Type I' (Type of 1838) this is called large letters.'

In 1839 the design produced in 1838 was struck again, and later in the year the design was modified to the more familiar Coronet style that was used on tens until 1907. Thus, the year 1839 saw two low mintage design rarities created. The former has in the past been called the '1839 Large Letters' type, while the second issue has been known as the '1839 Small Letters.' These labels have proved inadequate to describe the minute differences in letter sizes used, and in recent years (since the publication of David Akers' reference on eagles) the terms 'Type of '38' and 'Type of '40' have come to be more generally accepted.

The second year of Gobrecht's new design saw 25,801 eagles produced, but only a handful of pieces have been certified in Mint condition with this being the finest known. In this two-year series where an XF or AU coin is a significant offering, the importance of this extraordinary coin cannot be overemphasized to both date and type collectors.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/22/2020

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1100 1175 1900 2250 4300 6350 8900 10500 16750 30000 35500 46000 97500 175000 375000 630000 - - - -
$ - - - 15000 - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 179
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 64

The chart showing VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 5/11/2021 1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----4224116262926453-1------177
-----------------------
---------1------------1
-----------------------
Total----4224116263026453-1------178
 ----2%12%23%9%15%17%15%2%3%2%-1%------ 
1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-----------11---------2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-----------11---------2
 -----------50%50%--------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111111111111111111
1111111111111111111111
0000001111111111111100
0000001111111111111100
1839 LG LET HEAD OF 38 $10 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111113815052068328640805328594867077138743178598849113421391423937341744959873114109368
11380126016922474355044965534620168507235757381899680121991725527349393155743685198114836
000000355044965534620168507235757381899680121991725527349393155743600
0000003815491257416454699473337716851910511130562059630761444566527500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 53
Points: 5328
Owner: ASK123
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.