1883-S LIBERTY $10, MOTTO MS63
TIED FOR HIGHEST GRADED. ONLY 38,000 STRUCK.
1883-S LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 3 $10
In 1883, the outlaw Black Bart robbed his last stagecoach. Black Bart, later identified as San Francisco resident Charles Boles, robbed a series of Wells Fargo stagecoaches from 1876 to this final event. Black Bart became famous as a gentleman robber after several times refusing the personal valuables of the stagecoach passengers, opting for only the cash box. Adding to his legend was the fact that he reportedly never fired a shot and later claimed he never even loaded his gun. Could this 1883 eagle, minted in San Francisco, have been stolen by Black Bart in his last robbery?
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.