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1796 Large Date, Small Letters Dollar, MS61
B-5, BB-65, Either Second or Third Finest Known

1796 $1 Large Date, Small Letters MS61 NGC. B-5, BB-65, R.2. Die State II. The diagnostic reverse die lump is attached to the right upright of I in AMERICA, but does not yet join the adjacent C. The obverse die was only used for B-5, and shows signs of lapping, especially among the upper hair curls that are incomplete. The lowest curl is also incomplete, with no central detail. No examples are known in an earlier die state with these features boldly defined, indicating that the die was lapped or polished prior to its first service at the Mint.
The B-5 dollar is the second most plentiful 1796 variety, following the B-4 die pairing. Examples are generally available in all circulated grades, but seldom in Mint State grades like this piece. In fact, this is one of just three Mint State pieces recorded in the Notable Specimens section of Bowers' Encyclopedia. One of the three is now part of the Eric Newman Educational Foundation museum, and unavailable to the current generation of collectors. An MS62 example appeared in the Cardinal Collection, the Newman coin is considered MS61, and this piece from the Alto Collection is certified MS61. It is either second or third finest known.
This deep lilac toned specimen has splashes of gold and blue on each side. The strike is exceptional with every hair detail on the obverse and every feather detail on the reverse boldly delineated. In fact, even the eagle's eye is boldly evident.
Ex: Stack's (12/1970), lot 1063; Stack's (9/1972), lot 978; Stack's (4/1975), lot 154; Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars / Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2011.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 24X3, PCGS# 6861)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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