NGC-Graded Coin Brings $5M

Posted on 10/19/2007

Recently, an 1804 $10 Gold piece made history as the highest price every paid for a certified gold coin.

Highest Price in History for Certified Gold Coin

1804 Proof Eagle, graded NGC PF 65+★ Ultra Cameo
Click images to enlarge.

An 1804 $10 Gold piece recently sold for $5M, the highest price ever paid for a certified gold coin. The coin was graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, and is the finest known of certified examples. The 1804 $10 proof gold piece was struck in 1834 for President Jackson, to give to foreign dignitaries as the United States began to open up trade with Asia.

Historical Background on the 1804 Proof Eagle - NGC PF65+★Ultra Cameo
By David Lange

The proof edition of the 1804 gold eagle, or ten-dollar piece, is a classic American rarity. Only three examples are known to survive from an estimated mintage of four-eight coins.

The preparation of diplomatic presentation sets of United States coins circa 1834-35 prompted the minting of this proof-only edition. As no ten-dollar pieces had been issued since 1804, the Mint Director requested and received several proof examples from dies back-dated to 1804 but prepared for this occasion using technology of the 1830s.

There are subtle distinctions between the circulating edition minted in 1804 and these proof presentation coins. The most notable of these is that the old coins have a crosslet-style numeral 4 in the date, while the proof coins made during the 1830s have a plain 4. Other differences are found in the number of reeds on their edges (126 for the originals and 200 for the proofs) and in the length of the border denticles (long for originals and short for the proofs).

Of the three known examples, one is presently on long-term loan to the museum of the American Numismatic Association, while a second is likely to always remain with its companion coins as part of the famed King of Siam proof set. This leaves the third example, which recently sold at a record price for a certified and encapsulated United States gold coin.

A glittering, ultra cameo proof, its fields are delightfully brilliant and reflective, while its devices are richly frosted. This magnificent rarity is superbly struck throughout and has very clean surfaces, with just a hint of orange toning around its peripheries. With a pedigree that includes Woodin, Newcomer and Col. Green, this beauty is the finer of just two certified by NGC (10-07).

This coin was also displayed as part of a guest exhibit at the Smithsonian Legendary Coins and Currency opening reception.  NGC and NCS were the presenting sponsors of the exhibition.  Another famous example of this coin is part of the King of Siam Collection, also graded by NGC, and featured in the NGC Gallery

The coin was traded between 2 anonymous collectors, and the transaction was handled by Albanese Rare Coins in Albion, NY.

Click here for the Associated Press story.

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