1896-S LIBERTY $10, MOTTO MS63
ONLY 2 GRADED MS63 WITH 2 HIGHER IN MS64 AT NGC.
1896-S LIBERTY HEAD - TYPE 3 $10
In 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his “Cross of Gold” speech at the Democratic National Convention. Bryan argued of the need to reinstall the policy of free silver where individuals could bring silver to a Mint to be turned into coins. Bryan also decried the gold standard, of which “cross of gold” is in reference to. The speech, thought by some to be the most famous speech in American history, led to Bryan’s appointment as the Democratic candidate for the presidential election if 1896. Bryan would go on to lose against McKinley and the gold standard would be made official in 1900. Nevertheless, the “Cross of Gold” remains one of the more famous speeches ever given in the US and the 1896 eagle gold coin is thoroughly connected to it.
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.