1858 LIBERTY $10, NO MOTTO MS55
VERY SCARCE. ONLY 2,521 STRUCK. JUST 2 AU58s HIGHER AT PCGS.
1858 LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 2 $10
In 1858, after receiving the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for senate, Abraham Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech on the dangers of the issue of slavery to the stability of the union of the states. Lincoln believed that all states should either adopt slavery or outlaw it because the division between the north and south on the issue would lead to turmoil. Three years later, during Lincoln’s first term as President, the issue came to a head with the start of the Civil War. Could this 1858 eagle have been present in Springfield, Illinois during Lincoln’s prophetic speech?
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.