Bidding is now live on GreatCollections.com for a stunning 1821 Capped Bust Large Date dime graded as MS 66 by PCGS. Not only is this coin conditionally important, but as an ex-Eliasberg coin, it has an impressive provenance. Interested collectors should be aware that the auction for this important piece of American numismatics ends in four days on Sunday, June 26 at 4:43 PM Pacific Time (7:43 Eastern). The starting bid for this coin has been set at $65,000 USD.
Simply dripping with color, this stunning coin boasts deeply layered toning on both sides.
Yellows and reds blend with blues and greens to create a pleasing palette that emphasizes the coin’s devices. This gem of a coin is “probably [the] finest known” and exemplifies how the work of American numismatic designers can naturally be transformed over time into small pocket-sized pieces of art. There are no distracting marks on the coin, and while there is an obverse die crack extending vertically from the bottom of the “I” in liberty to the bust’s drapery, it is so faint as to be nearly invisible.
Perhaps even more significant to the coin than its color and condition is its provenance. As part of the famous Eliasberg Collection, this Capped Bust dime shared cabinet space with such rarities as the 1913 Liberty Head nickel and a 1933 double eagle.
Actively collecting coins from 1925 until his death in 1976, Louis Eliasberg was one of the most well-known American numismatists. As a successful businessman, Eliasberg had significant liquid capital to spend on his numismatic passion. By 1950, he finished putting together the most complete collection of US coins ever with the purchase of the 1873-CC No Arrows dime. While he did not differentiate between standard circulation and Proof strike pieces, he did acquire one specimen from each date and mint. This greatest of collections was subsequently divided between Eliasberg’s two children and sold over three separate sales. The collection’s gold pieces were sold by Bowers and Ruddy in 1982 and the rest in two sales by Bowers and Merena in 1996 and 1997.
This specific coin has not appeared in any recent auction records since the original May 1996 Stack’s and Merena sale, where it hammered for $15,400. Additionally, the last record of any certified examples graded as MS 66 coming onto the public market was over a decade ago in August 2010.
The obverse portrait is of a more fulsome Liberty than the previous Draped Bust style, which led to unfortunate albeit unsubstantiated comments that John Reich had modeled Liberty after his “fat mistress”. Liberty is wearing a mobcap (a fashionable woman’s headdress of the period, not a liberty cap as it is sometimes stated) with a band displaying LIBERTY. Long curling hair drapes over the forehead, around the ear, across the shoulders, and down the back. A flowing robe covers the bust and shoulder, fixed with a clasp above the shoulder. Thirteen six-point stars surround the portrait, seven to the left and six to the right, just inside a denticled rim. The date (1821) is centered at the bottom.
The reverse displays a left-facing eagle with outstretched (though partially folded) wings and a Union shield across its breast. The left claw clutches three arrows; the right clutches an olive branch. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircles the top two-thirds of the coin inside the denticled rim, and the denomination of 10 C. is at the bottom, below the eagle. A concentric banner with E PLURIBUS UNUM is located above the eagle’s head, below STATES OF. All coins were minted at Philadelphia, and as such, no mint mark appears on the coins.
This 1821 Capped Bust dime has a reeded edge.
Bidding ends on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at 4:43 PM Pacific Time (7:43 Eastern).
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