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1800 Eagle - 1800 Gold Eagle
1800 Gold Eagle

1800 Gold Eagle - Like many of the early United States coinage, the exact mintage of 1800 eagle is not known. It has long been considered to be 5,999 pieces, which was also the number Breen believed to be correct in his Encyclopedia. He mentioned that these would consist of the deliveries made between November 18 and 25, 1800. The relative common issue dated 1799 is believed to have been struck as late as September 4, 1800, as it was common practice at the early Mint to use dies until they became unfit for coinage, regardless of dates. Recent research, however, has learned that the 5,999 number appears to be incorrect, and the availability of this issue appears to confirm this.

There are approximately 250 to 300 eagles dated 1800 known in all grades, making it a rarity 3+ issue. Survival rates of early gold coins, especially of the eagle, or ten dollar denomination are seldom that high. In fact, it appears to be not as rare as most 20th century researchers believed this issue to be. Most survivors are in circulated grades, although there are some pieces which survived in remarkably high grades.

All 1800 eagles were struck from a single die pair, which used a new obverse die paired with a reverse die previously used to strike the last 1799 variety. This reverse die would last even longer, striking a number of eagles that were dated 1801. Those pieces have led to some interesting conclusions, which affect the mintage of 5,999 pieces, long believed to have been correct. Die state examination of that particular reverse die has revealed that the first variety of 1801 (BD-1) were struck before the last die state of 1800 eagle was struck. Because of the rarity of the 1801, BD-1 issue, we can make a reliable guess at what happened at the Mint during early 1801.

Into the New Year, the Mint decides to retire the 1800 dated obverse die, and replace it with a new 1801 dated die. The reverse die, which had been used for some time, still appears to be in workable condition and is continued to be used. Production starts, and a number of pieces are delivered. Then, the obverse die breaks, or is otherwise considered to be unfit of coinage. With no new 1801 obverse die in storage, the old 1800 dated die is put back into storage until a new, correctly dated die is ready for use. This process might sounds strange, but was in fact common practice at the early United States Mint, with a newborn nation not in need of an expensive Mint. Replacing dies dated the previous year when they were still good enough to be used for coinage would be uneconomical, and was not what the government needed. As such, calendar year mintages usually do not indicate that true mintage of a certain issue dated any given year.

Despite being struck from a single die pair this issue is generally available, with most offerings being at or near the lower about uncirculated level. This is a situation that appears with most of the early eagles, which indicates that the pieces remained in the United States circulated for some time. Unlike the half eagles, exportation of eagles was rather limited, and most pieces that were melted saw that fate within the country where they had been minted. Uncirculated coins are scarce at any level, although there is a single gem piece known. It has been graded MS-65 by NGC, and is considered to be among the finest known for the type minted between 1797 and 1804.

NGC has graded a single piece as Specimen-65 as well. The status of this piece has been disputed, however, although it appears to be a very sharply struck and preserved coin on an exceptional planchet, with mirrored surfaces usually found on Proof coins. One possibility is that it was the first gold eagle struck with an 18xx date on it, and especially made and preserved because of that. If it were a true presentation, or specimen strike it would be the first and oldest ten dollar gold coin of that sort, only followed by the special 1804 Proof strikings not created until the mid 1830s.



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1800 Eagle - 1800 Gold Eagle - Information about 1800 Eagle. 1800 Eagle is one of the Early Gold Eagles minted from 1795 - 1804. Like many of the early United States coinage, the exact mintage of 1800 eagle is not known.

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