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1799/8 $1 15 Stars Reverse MS64+ NGC. B-3, BB-141, R.3....

2013 November 15 - 16 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part II Signature Auction - New York #1190

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Auction Ended On: Nov 15, 2013
Item Activity: 17 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

1799/8 B-3, BB-141 Dollar, MS64+
15 Stars Reverse
The Finest Known
1799/8 $1 15 Stars Reverse MS64+ NGC. B-3, BB-141, R.3. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Both sides of this spectacular original silver dollar exhibit frosty white luster with splashes of navy-blue toning on the high points. Hints of lime-green and strawberry-red patina are virtually invisible without the aid of a magnifier. The right obverse field shows faint evidence of die sinking, with some indistinct details at the opposing point on the reverse. The Eric P. Newman specimen, earlier from the "Col." E.H.R. Green collection, has been off the market for more than 75 years, and now makes its first appearance to the present generation of coin collectors.

Obverse Die. The overdate obverse appears on three die pairings, B-1, BB-142; B-2, BB-143; and B-3, BB-141. It appears in its earliest die state here. The underdigit 8 is clearly visible beneath the second 9. Spalling (commonly called die rust) appears over portions of the obverse, especially through the date and over the head. Clash marks in the form of extra dentils appear inside the border from 3 to 5 o'clock. The second hair curl shows incomplete details, likely from shallow engraving rather than die lapping, as no other details show evidence of lapping. No die cracks are visible.

Reverse Die. The 15 Stars reverse die has seven stars in the top row, six in the second, and two in the third. The end stars in the top row are mostly hidden beneath enlarged clouds that the engraver expanded to cover his embarrassing mistake. The balance of the reverse is properly engraved, showing five large berries in the wreath and 13 complete arrows.

During the first few years of U.S. Mint operations, coinage dies displayed stars to represent the states in growing numbers as the nation expanded. Mint officials soon realized they would eventually run out of room, deciding to retain 13 stars representing the original 13 states. All Heraldic Eagle silver dollars from 1798 through 1804 display 13 stars on each side with a single exception: the reverse die used for 1799/8 B-3, BB-141 and 1799 B-4, BB-153.

Die State. The reverse die has several peripheral cracks, including the terminal Die State IV crack below the left upright of the M to the right (facing) wing. This is the latest die state seen for the B-3, BB-141 die marriage, clearly proving that this overdate was struck after the Normal Date 1799 B-4, BB-153 die variety.

Condition Census. This example is the finest known 1799/8 B-3, BB-141 silver dollar. The 1993 Bowers-Borckardt Encyclopedia recorded an MS64, three MS63s, and 10 MS60s as Notable Specimens. The 2013 Encyclopedia shortened and modified the list to two MS64s and four MS63s. However, none of those coins equals the previously unrecognized Eric P. Newman example.

Appearances. This specimen is illustrated as part of NGC's presentation of the Newman Collection at

Commentary. Only two overdates exist in the early dollar series and each has multiple die varieties. While the three 1799/8 varieties are coined from a single overdate obverse die, the five 1802/1 overdates are from five different obverse dies.

The 1799/8 B-3, BB-141 die marriage is one of six major types required for a complete set of Guide Book varieties:

1799 Silver Dollar Major Types
--1799/8, 15 Star Reverse
--1799/8, 13 Star Reverse
--1799 Irregular Date, 15 Star Reverse
--1799 Irregular Date, 13 Star Reverse
--1799 Normal Date
--1799 8 Stars Left, 5 Right

This sale offers numismatists a chance to acquire three of the six major types of 1799 silver dollars, all in Mint State, and each with a great pedigree.

Provenance. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $35.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24X8, PCGS# 6883)

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