1880-S LIBERTY $10, MOTTO MS64
ONLY 1 MS66 COIN GRADED HIGHER.
1880-S LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 3 $10
In 1880, Emperor Joshua Norton of San Francisco passed away and nearly 30,000 people attended his funeral. Joshua Norton, who most people believed to be insane or at least incredibly eccentric, declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859 and even minted currency in his name. Though he had no real political power, the people of San Francisco would humor his belief and most accepted his currency. Could this 1880 eagle, minted in San Francisco, have attended the funeral of the first and last Emperor of the United States?
An order from Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase and a clause in the Act of March 3, 1865 sufficed to mandate inclusion of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the large silver and gold denominations beginning in 1866. Chase approved James Barton Longacre's simple scroll design, which duly took its place on the reverse of the Liberty Eagle that year. (The San Francisco Mint's 1866-dated delivery is divided between No Motto and Motto pieces, but that of the Philadelphia Mint includes only coins of the new design.) With this addition, the Liberty Eagle would remain unchanged until eclipsed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Indian Eagle in 1907. There are many scarce or rare issues in this series, particularly the P-mint deliveries of 1866-1877, those struck in the Carson City Mint from 1870-1879, the 1879-O and the 1883-O. Virtually all deliveries are conditionally challenging and difficult to locate above the MS-62 level, if they are obtainable in Mint State at all.