1861 $10 (1861 Eagle) NGC AU55. Civil War Eagle. This Civil War date 1861 Eagle shows bright mint luster in its protected areas. The obverse strike is above average with good details on the highest points of Liberty’s hair and about half of the stars. The reverse strike is strong as seen on the eagle’s neck and the area to the lower left of the shield. There is sufficient separation in the lines of the top of the coronet and the hair above Liberty’s ear to affirm the grade.
The Coronet Eagle Liberty Head, No Motto shows Liberty facing left in profile wearing a LIBERTY inscribed coronet with her hair tied in the back in beads. Two long curls hang down her neck, one in the back and the other on the side. She is surrounded with thirteen six-pointed stars. The date is below the truncation, which shows no drapery. The motif is taken from a Benjamin West painting of Venus. It was also used with modifications for the Large Cents of 1839. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with outstretched wing looking to the left. On its chest is the Union shield. In its talons it holds the olive branch and arrows. The error in the previous issue, Scot’s eagle held the arrows and the olive branches in the wrong talons, is corrected. Except for the tips of the eagle’s wings UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the reverse, separated from the denomination TEN D. by dots. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the Gobrecht’s Coronet Eagle Liberty, Head No Motto coin, and the edge is reeded.
In 1859 Engraver Longacre prepared a new reverse that was used on Philadelphia coins until 1865. On them the eagle’s claws are thinner and shorter. This change is not seen on the branch mint coins because they were using 1857-1858 dies.
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