$10 Liberty Eagle

The $10 Liberty Head Eagle coin was struck between 1838 and 1907 and was an essential part of the financial system; today many versions are highly collectable.

General Details

Coin Highlights

  • Composition is .4838 oz of gold (90% purity) and 10% copper alloy
  • Weight: 16.718 grams
  • Diameter: 27 mm
  • Designed by Christian Gobrecht (minted from 1838–1907)
  • Largest Denomination in Regular Issue Coinage

The $10 Liberty Eagle gold coins were popular when they were first circulated and among collectors today. Collectors and investors of rare coins actively seek these coins. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find quality specimens.

The Liberty Head ten dollar gold coin (or Eagle) was introduced in 1838 after a 34 year suspension in production that had been ordered by President Thomas Jefferson. These 10 dollar gold coins featured a new design by Christian Gobrecht. It would become an incredibly successful coin type lasting nearly 70 years. Few coin types, especially in the larger denominations, have had such a successful run. Having many scarce issues and a number of ultra rarities, the series is divided between those with “No Motto” and those (after 1966) “With the Motto” — In God We Trust. The first 12 years have especially low mintages and few were preserved. Most surviving “No Motto” specimens didn’t make it past the recall and meltings of the 1930s; consequently, high grades of any date in that part of the series is hard to find. There are no “common-dates” in uncirculated condition. There are only a handful of surviving specimens in MS-65 or better.

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History of the Liberty Eagles

On June 28, 1834, Congress passed a law that reduced the weight of gold coins. This was done to lower their intrinsic value. Previously, almost all gold coins were exported or melted as soon as they were released from the Mint because their metallic content was greater than their face value.

The son of a German born immigrant and a talented engraver named Christian Gobrecht created the design, inspired by the portrait of Venus in Benjamin West’s painting Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All), for the Liberty Gold Eagle. By this point, his work had already received high acclaim. His coronet wearing left-facing head of Lady Liberty would become the prototype for the half-eagle and the large cent of 1839. It would later form the basis of the Double Eagle.

In 1866, largely as a reaction to the bloodshed of the Civil War and the tremendous struggle of reconstruction that lay ahead, a scroll inscribed with IN GOD WE TRUST was added above the head of the heraldic eagle. This motto had already been added to the majority of denominations following the conclusion of the Civil War. This second type for the Liberty Gold Eagle would be used until the conclusion of the series in 1907 when Saint-Gaudens’ Indian Head design was introduced.

The only known complete series of the Ten Dollar Liberty is the one assembled by Louis Eliasberg, Sr. and sold at auction in 1982.

Proof versions of the Liberty Eagle were created but in microscopic proportions. Any Proof of this type is rare, and can be considered a prized rarity, regardless of date or grade. Completing such a set would be an extremely difficult, if not impossible, task since many known specimens are held within permanent museum collections.

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Specifications
$10 Liberty Eagle
#SpecificationValue
1Denomination$10
2FinishUncirculated
3Composition.9000 gold .1000 copper
4Diameter1.0630 inches (27 mm)
5Weight0.48375 troy oz (16.72 g)
6EdgeReeded
7DesignChristian Gobrecht
8MintUS Mint
9Years of Mintage1838–1907
10IRA EligibleNo
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