1846 LIBERTY $10, NO MOTTO MS55
SCARCE DATE. ONLY 9 GRADED HIGHER AT NGC.
NGC Graded Higher:
1846 LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 2 $10
1846 saw both the Bear Flag Revolt and the subsequent annexation of California by the United States. In the years leading up to 1846, many American settlers had come to the Mexican controlled province of California. The revolt occurred when the Mexican Governor, Jose Castro, proclaimed that the land purchased by non-naturalized Mexican citizens was void. Fearing the proclamation would soon be enforced the Americans in California attacked the Mexican town of Sonoma and declared the Bear Flag Republic with hopes of soon being annexed by the US. Just a couple weeks later the rebels would get their wish when US troops were sent to both Sonoma and Monterey. Could this 1846 eagle have been with one of the US troops when they met up with the Bear Flag Revolt?
By 1838, Congress had reduced the weight and fineness of the Eagle to 16.718 grams and .900 gold, respectively. These reductions were deemed sufficient to discourage the widespread hoarding and exportation that led to the denomination's suspension in 1804, and Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson received orders to resume coinage in July 1838. A new design was selected: the Coronet or Liberty motif of Acting Mint Engraver Christian Gobrecht. The portrait of Liberty is similar to the head of Venus used in Benjamin West's recent painting Omnia Vincit Amor, and the reverse eagle is more realistic that either of those which appeared on the Capped Bust Right Ten of 1795-1804. Gobrecht's original obverse remained in use only through June 1839, after which he redesigned Liberty's portrait to the version that would remain essentially unchanged through 1907. One final, major design change took place in 1866, and that was the introduction of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on a scroll in the upper-reverse field. That year, therefore, forms a convenient break in this long-lived series, with those pieces struck from 1838-1866 displaying the No Motto type and those of the 1866-1907 era the Motto type. The No Motto series is extremely challenging to pursue, as many issues are rare in an absolute sense and all are conditionally challenging. Key dates include the 1841-O, 1844, 1855-S, 1857-O, 1858, 1858-S, 1859-O, 1859-S, 1860-S, most deliveries from the Civil War years of 1861-1865 and the 1866-S No Motto.