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Description

1799 Draped Bust Dollar, MS63
Elusive B-18, BB-154 Variety
Probably Finest Known BB-154

1799 $1 7x6 Stars MS63 PCGS. B-18, BB-154, R.4. Bowers-Borckardt Die State III. A series-record mintage of 423,515 Draped Bust silver dollars was accomplished in 1799, but some of the coins may have been dated 1798. Twenty two die varieties are known for the date, including three overdate die marriages. This coin represents the BB-154 variety, with the bust positioned right of center, so the top curl is centered under the space between E and R in LIBERTY. On most specimens of BB-154 a heavy die crack is seen between E and D in UNITED, stretching across the wing to the top of the shield. Fewer than four examples have been reported without the diagnostic crack. The obverse die was also used to strike the BB-155 variety, while this was the only use of the reverse die.

The BB-154 is the second rarest variety of the date. John W. Haseltine listed it as H-18 and called it "a very rare variety" in his 1881 Type Table. M. H. Bolender classified it as B-18 and rated it "... extremely rare. Rarity 6." A few more examples have surfaced over the years, but the surviving population numbers no more than 60-100 examples in all grades today. Most examples seen are well-worn and Mint State pieces are extremely rare. This coin is the number one example in Q. David Bowers' list of Notable Specimens and almost certainly the finest known of the variety.

The coin offered here is a delightful Select specimen, with crisp detail on all design elements and well-preserved surfaces that show only minor signs of contact. A shallow scrape under the R in LIBERTY is mentioned for pedigree purposes. Pleasing shades of russet, gold, teal, and bluish-gray toning blanket both sides, with flashes of original luster underneath. No planchet adjustment marks are present, and eye appeal is outstanding. This coin should find a home in the finest variety collection of early dollars.
Ex: Eliasberg-Krause Collections (Stack's, 3/2010), lot 1118.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24X7, PCGS# 6878)

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Auction Dates
December, 2013
5th-8th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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