1838 Liberty Head Eagle. EF-40 (PCGS).Lustrous and overall boldly defined EF quality for this historic ten-dollar gold issue. Pretty medium gold patina throughout, the surfaces with a few shallow scuffs and grazes that we mention solely for accuracy. In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson suspended both silver dollar and gold eagle production to prevent the loss of newly minted coins through exportation and/or melting. By that time such practices had become so profitable that there was little point in the Mint producing and distributing new coins. When coinage of gold eagles finally resumed in 1838, not only was a new design introduced, but both the weight and diameter of the eagle were reduced. Whereas the Capped Bust Right eagle of 1795 to 1804 was produced to a weight standard of 17.50 grams with an approximate diameter of 33 millimeters, the coins struck beginning in 1838 weighed 16.718 grams and measured 27 millimeters in diameter.The design of the new eagle is attributed to Christian Gobrecht. Its numismatic name, Liberty Head, is derived from the left facing portrait on the obverse. As originally designed, Gobrecht's Liberty Head eagle features an obverse portrait with a broad, deeply curved truncation line and long strands of hair pulled across Liberty's ear from the temple to the bun at the back of the head. The letters in the reverse legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are large in size. For reasons that have become lost to history, this design was replaced in 1839 with one that features a slightly modified obverse portrait and smaller letters in the reverse legend. Examples of both types were produced in 1839.As the first Liberty Head eagle, and one of just two of the Type of 1838, Large Letters design, the 1838 is eagerly sought by both advanced gold type collectors and series specialists. This is by far the rarer of the two issues of the Type of 1838 design, and of the 7,500 pieces struck PCGS CoinFacts accounts for just 80 to 100 survivors in all grades. Mint State coins are of the utmost rarity and, indeed, this issue largely passed into circulation with little attention from contemporary Americans. Most of the few survivors are well worn, the typical piece grading VF or, less frequently, EF.PCGS# 8575. NGC ID: 262D.Click here for certification details from PCGS.