Series notes: $10 Liberty Gold

The Liberty Head $10 eagle was struck from 1838 through 1907 and was designed by Christian Gobrecht. The Liberty Head eagle is significantly smaller in size than the preceding Capped Bust to Right $10 eagle produced from 1795 through 1804. These eagles weigh 16.718 grams and have a diameter of 27 millimeters, which is about 0.8 grams lighter and 6 millimeters narrower in diameter than the early $10 gold eagles.

$10 Liberty Head eagles are generally subdivided as a type into two subtypes: these include the No Motto (?IN GOD WE TRUST?) Above Eagle design produced 1838 through 1866 and Motto Above Eagle motif struck from 1866 through 1907. Generally speaking, the earlier, No Motto Liberty Head $10 eagles are scarcer than the latter pieces, though the rarest Liberty Head eagles as a class are issues from the Charlotte (C), Carson City (CC), and Dahlonega (D) Mints, which struck far fewer examples across the board than their Philadelphia, New Orleans (O) and San Francisco (S) counterparts.

The seeming numismatic irony here is the origin of the rarest issue in the series; it is the 1875 Philadelphia $10 eagle, which saw a business-strike mintage of only 100 pieces and just 20 proofs. Examples of either typically trade for six figures. Overall, the $10 Liberty Head series is one of the most challenging pre-1933 United States gold series, with dozens upon dozens of challenging issues that each cost a minimum of four figures and a few extremely rare pieces that are difficult to track down even for collectors with the deepest of pockets.