After a 34 year hiatus, the ten dollar gold denomination was resurrected in 1838. In the first two years of the new Liberty Head design, the portrait featured the first incarnation of the portrait with the coronet tip close to the outer edge of the sixth star and a noticeably curved edge to the neck of Liberty. This designed changed in the later part of 1839 but not before 25,801 examples of this variety were coined. The 1839 Head of 1838 is only a marginally scarce coin until you gert to the AU55/58 range but it is in constant demand as a type issue. It remains very affordable in the lower to middle grades and this Choice EF example, with a CAC sticker, has pleasing deep, even green-gold color with some contrasting reddish hues at the reverse periphery. This is exactly what an EF45 should look like with minimal luster but good details and very choice surfaces without a single detracting mark of note. In the recent Stack's Bowers sale, a more lustrous but less original example graded AU53 by PCGS brought double the amount of this coin, making the present example a great value for the collector who likes gold coins from the highly interesting era (1834-1846) that saw so much experimentation with types and designs of U.S. issues.
This lightly worn slider example has pale orange-gold and greenish color atop soft frosty luster. There is good detail seen on both sides and the surfaces are choice with just a few minor marks noted. The 1839 is a distinct one-year type coin that does not get the recognition that it deserves.
The 1839 is a one-year type that is finally gaining the recognition it deserves. Interestingly, I saw not one but two (!) PCGS MS63 CAC examples of this date at the recent Baltimore show, both priced in the $30,000's. Yes, it would be great to own one or both of these but not every collector has a spare 30K lying around. For those of you that do not, how about a nice, choice example at under $2,000?
The 1839 is, by far, the scarcest Classic Head quarter eagle from Philadelphia. In terms of its overall rarity, it is actually harder to find than the 1839-C, 1839-D or 1839-O yet it is priced at a fraction of these Southern branch mint issues. This evenly worn example is a bit lightly struck but is reasonably original with some orange-gold splashes seen on the obverse and reverse. A tremendously undervalued coin and an issue that I find hard to believe is still available in nice EF grades for less than $2,000.