Larry Abbott, Executive Vice President and CSO of Superior Galleries of Beverly Hills announced today that Silvano DiGenova, CEO and Chief Numismatist of the firm has discovered a previously unknown specimen, and the third finest known 1803 Large Stars Reverse with 13 Stars, Bass Dannruther 1E variety (Taraszka 32). The coin is an Extremely Rare (Low R7) survivor of a mintage estimated at originally only 250 to 500 coins from one single mating of dies. There are now only six specimens known, and two of those are damaged!
Mr. DiGenova’s coin attribution was reconfirmed earlier by Numismatic Scholar and Author John Dannruther who explained that his BD-1E designation identified the 1803 Large Star Reverse with 13 stars also known as the Taraszka 32. This coin is often mis-catalogued or mis-designated and in most cases is actually the 1803 Large Star Reverse with the extra star or 14 Star Reverse. The 1803 Large Star Reverse with 13 stars is a major rarity. In Anthony J. Taraszka’s book, “United States Ten Dollar Gold Eagles 1795-1804”, he cites four known examples.
However, our research has found six total examples, including this newly discovered one. Mr. Taraszka was not aware of this example and jewelry grade specimen to come on the market in March 2003 (AG3 damaged in jewelry). Researcher Phillip Scott Rubin and John Dannruther confirmed our current pedigree list. DiGenova and Dannruther both agree that this variety is actually a separate variety worthy of Red Book Designation and will strive for this. Coin World Trends already designates the 1803 varieties more properly.
They state the following: 1803 Small Stars, 1803 Large Stars, and 1803 14 Star. Additionally, both PCGS and NGC designate three varieties: 1803 Small Stars Reverse, 1803 Large Stars Reverse and 1803 14 Star. The key point here is that all 1803 10s with Large Star Reverses are either 13 Star or 14 Star. To properly clarify this, all the guides should read: 1803 Small Stars, 1803 Large Stars 13 Star Reverse and 1803 Large Stars 14 Star Reverse (or as is commonly known as Extra Star Reverse).
DiGenova and Dannruther will attempt to correct this in all major price guides along with attempting to update current pricing information to more accurately reflect the extreme rarity of this variety and differentiate it from the 14 Star variety.
A diagnostic characteristic of the rarely seen variety is that the reverse Leaf on the lower right side points between the R and I of America as opposed to in the 14 Star the same leaf points to the bottom of the I in America. Also, the cloud under the S of States is very different in the two varieties. The 14 Star variety usually has a small extra star “punched within the last cloud at right” as quoted from Mr. Taraszka’s book but this star is often not visible, which is why it is so often attributed incorrectly as the Large Star 13 Stars. Mr. Dannruther will be using DiGenova’s new find as the plate coin for his forthcoming book about early gold which he co-authored with the late Harry Bass, who incidentally, did not have an example of this rare coin in his extensive collection.
The current known population is listed as follows:
MS62 NGC Lot 863 of the Superior Galleries March, 2001 previously Lot 2105 of the Superior Galleries September 1999 sale, previously Extremely Fine Lot 1531 of Stacks September 1977 sale, the coin plate photograph is entirely conclusive with the very slight obverse rim nick and reverse rim nick matching exactly.
MS61 PCGS Lot 7744 of the Heritage Galleries August 1998, previously the Uncertified Lot 444 of Bowers & Merenas’ June 1986 sale and the Taraszka plate coin. Possibly equal to or finer than coin number one in this census.
AU58 PCGS#5616131, the current coin discovered by Mr. DiGenova and illustrated above, which will soon be offered at the Superior Galleries May, 2006 Elite Sale in Beverly Hills.
AU55 Lot 410 of the Superior Galleries July 1984 sale, previously Lot 410 of Superior Galleries section of the Auction 84 Apostrophe Sale, previously described as Almost Uncirculated Lot 538 of the Bowers & Merina September 1988 Mann & Smedley Sale.
VF (repaired), Lot 362 of the Superior Galleries January 1981 Munoz Sale.
AG3 (damaged in jewelry) ANACS Lot 6347 of the Heritage Galleries March, 2003 sale.
Superior Galleries of Beverly Hills will be pleased to offer this significant variety for sale in its May 28-30, 2006 Beverly Hills Elite Auction Sale preceding the Long Beach Coin Convention. The coin is available for viewing at all major coin conventions or by private appointment. For further information please feel free to contact Paul Song, Vice President of Auctions of Superior Galleries at 800 545-1001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.