1799 B-16, BB-158 Dollar, Terminal Die State, MS631799 $1 7x6 Stars MS63 NGC. B-16, BB-158, R.2. Die State IV (late), Bolender-16b. The obverse date is spaced 17 9 9, with the first two digits much closer than the last two, and while the left-side stars are distant from the hair curl and L, the right-side stars are close to the bust and Y. This obverse die was used only to strike the BB-158 die pairing, while the reverse was used in several marriages.
The U on the reverse is missing its upper left serif due to a defective punch, and a star point touches the lower point of the eagle's beak. The star under cloud 1 is visibly smaller than any other cloud, and the upper right star has only a single point embedded in the rightmost cloud.
This lovely silver dollar was struck from dies that, at least on the obverse, were clearly close to shattering, even though the Bowers-Borckardt reference notes that examples from Die State IV are fairly plentiful (and also mentions that some transitional pieces do not show all cracks fully developed). Nonetheless, this piece shows every die crack as enumerated in that reference--and several not noted there. It strains credibility to believe that the obverse die could have survived much longer after production of this wonderful piece.
Innumerable die cracks appear on the obverse, including: from near rim through both sides of star 1, the leftmost dividing into two, one terminating at star 2, one passing through star 1, through the field, curving downward above the hair curls and to the neck; from rim straight downward to star 2; from rim above star 2, through stars 3-6, curving before star 7 downward into the field; from star 5 to rear of hair ribbon, thence to lowest curl; from star 6, down through middle of ribbon, joining the curving crack from star 1; from star 8 to rim; from star 9 downward to the nose, cheek, neck, and bust, intersecting other cracks; from the field in front of star 10 downward to the bust point; a four-branched crack to the left of the date; clash marks above the date, with cracks branching off in three directions; and a fine network of small cracks near the date and lower bust, too numerous to mention individually (or even count)!
On the reverse, bold die clashing from the obverse bust and date (fully legible, and reversed) are seen at ES OF, and the berries are somewhat weak, likely from relapping.
This wonderful Select Uncirculated coin is considerably prooflike on both sides, with gorgeous original coloration in shades of gray-gold with dappled sky-blue. Even among the many memorable dollars in the Queller Family Collection, this piece stands out in many ways.
From The Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars. (NGC ID# 24X7, Variety PCGS# 40050, Base PCGS# 6878)
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