David Akers (1975/88): This date has the second lowest mintage of this type from 1839-1857 and its rarity matches its low mintage. It is comparable to the 1839 Type of '40, the 1845, and the 1846, although its low mintage had brought it a little more recognition than those three equally rare dates. I have not personally seen a mint state piece but one or two may exist. The Bell 1944 coin in particular was described as "choice". In AU condition this date is extremely rare and the relatively few examples that are availble to collectors grade only VF or EF.Doug Winter: There are few coins in the $10 Liberty series that are not well-known outside of the core collecting community of Liberty Head eagles. I would have to rank the 1844 as the number one sleeper in this group and it is a coin whose true rarity even surprised me as I was researching this series.
There were only 6,361 eagles struck in 1844 and my estimate is that 40-50+ are known. When you do find an 1844 eagle, it tends to be very well worn with VF and EF examples most often seen. I believe that there are fewer than ten properly graded AU examples known with most in the AU50-53 range. NGC has graded one in MS63 (I have not seen it) which may possibly be the Bell coin from 1944. The best example I have personally seen is an AU55 and I cannot recall having seen a nice 1844 eagle in over five years.
Every 1844 has two prominent die characteristics on the obverse. There is a horizontal die line below the first star and a series of vertical die scratches from the denticles out onto the fields near star three.
Heritage 9/2015:4196, $14,100
Heritage 1/2014:6841, $24,169.75