1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves MS64 Prooflike NGC. B-2, BB-20, R.3. This is a memorable Flo...
Remarkable Prooflike MS64 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves MS64 Prooflike NGC. B-2, BB-20, R.3. This is a memorable Flowing Hair dollar that will long be remembered by specialists after its turn at the auction podium. NGC has certified only three pieces of the type as Prooflike, along with single examples of the 1795 Draped Bust and the 1797, 1799, and 1800. Although the 1795 Flowing Hair dollar was struck in reasonable quantities for an early silver issue, Mint State survivors are rare, and are under strong demand from type set collectors and an increasing number of specialists seeking to assemble high grade sets by Bolender variety. Examples with moderately prooflike fields are extremely rare. The obverse field has reasonable flashy despite an original and attractive blanket of moderate chestnut-gold and steel-gray toning. The reverse field has impressive reflectivity, although light tan and powder-blue patina adorns that side. The overall quality is so remarkable that one almost expects to see a COPY stamp nestled somewhere. But this really is a 1795 Bolender-2, promptly identified by a thin mint-made die line on the field near the inner point of star 4. This obverse die was also used for Bolender-19, but that variety is so rare that some specialists have privately doubted its existence. In the unlikely event that a B-19 should appear on the market, it can be distinguished from B-2 by the absence of a berry pair beneath the I in UNITED. B-2 is an available die marriage by the standards of Flowing Hair dollars, although it is scarce relative to the two "common" 1795 varieties, B-5 and B-1. Interestingly, the Eliasberg example of B-2 (not the present piece) was cataloged as "Full prooflike surfaces on both sides. Possible proof presentation piece." Perhaps a small group of prooflike examples were struck for presentation purposes. In his Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States (1993), Q. David Bowers writes about B-2, "The variety is typically encountered in lower grades but is rare above EF. Typically, the rims are quite raised on BB-20; coins are usually well centered, with prominent denticulation on both sides. While higher grade pieces will often show excellent hair detail on the obverse, usually the eagle's breast is somewhat flat." This is the case with the present remarkable coin, which has intricate hair definition but the center of the breast is soft. As is common for these early large silver pieces, both sides display minor adjustment marks, which are visible only on the denticles and across portions of the devices. The strike was sufficiently sharp to remove virtually all traces of the adjustment marks from the fields. This pattern of adjustment mark presence is typical for an 18th century U.S. silver coin, since the devices are sunk into the dies, and only a full strike would allow the planchet to completely fill the die recesses. Aside from the aforementioned softness on the center of the eagle's breast, the strike is excellent. In particular, the stars are razor-sharp. The denticles have a slightly stretched appearance, as usual for the type, which was struck with an open collar that allowed the planchet to expand during the strike. The preservation is exceptional for a Flowing Hair dollar, which is typically encountered in cleaned VF grades. The reverse is gorgeously smooth aside from a solitary thin mark relegated to the field near the first S in STATES. The obverse has a few tiny marks near the jaw and in line with the mouth, but these are hardly visible to the unaided eye, and the overall appearance is spectacular, given the conditional rarity of this important type. The Flowing Hair dollar was the first type of our nation's most important silver denomination, and this piece would be the star attraction of the finest quality early silver type set.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 24WZ, PCGS# 6853)
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