1886-S LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 3 $10
In 1886, the Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to troops of the US government along the Arizona-New Mexico border, signaling an end to the American-Indian Wars had been prevalent since 1622 when the Powhatan Confederacy nearly crushed the Jamestown colony. Could this 1886 eagle, minted in San Francisco, have been present for this momentous treaty?
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.