Grading Service: PCGS
SKU: 132827
Cert Number: 82186686

1838 LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 1 $10

In 1838, Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph using dots and dashes in a system that would evolve into Morse code. Vail became the partner of Samuel Morse in 1837 and would go on to vastly improve on Morse’s designs as well as simplifying the code Morse was developing. When Morse sent the first telegram in 1844 with the message, “What hath God wrought?” it was Vail on the other end that receive it. Could this 1838 eagle have been present when the largely forgotten inventor translated the first message sent with a telegraph?

Robert Scot's Large Eagle design replaced his Small Eagle motif on the reverse of the Ten-Dollar gold piece in 1797.  According to Walter Breen, the first 10,840 Capped Bust Right Eagles of the new design were delivered between June 7, 1797 and January 30, 1798.  Mintages remained erratic through 1804, probably because coinage operations were halted when much of the population fled Philadelphia to avoid the yearly yellow fever epidemics.  Nevertheless, Large Eagle Tens were produced with every date from 1797 through 1804 with the sold exception of 1802.  The gerat rarities of this series are both varieties of the 1798/7 and the final-year 1804, with the 1797 and 1800 also being a bit scarcer than the 1803 and much more elusive than the 1799 and 1801.

On order of President Thomas Jefferson, the Mint halted Eagle (or Ten-Dollar gold) production on December 31, 1804.  The reason for this is exactly the same as with the Silver Dollar: extensive melting by bullion dealers resulted in a net loss to the federal government.  No more Eagles would be struck until the beginning of the Liberty series in 1838.

**Source: PCGS Price Guide. Although we try to be as accurate as possible on the listed population, third party pricing and coin information, information constantly changes. We suggest you verify all information.