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Rare Proof 1851 Seated Liberty Dollar, A Select Quality Restrike

1851 $1 Restrike PR63 NGC. Much ink has been spilled over the proof 1851 Seated Dollar, but there does not seem to be any conclusive evidence concerning the status of originals and restrikes. Bowers (1993) states that there are no original proofs. As of January 2002, however, NGC and PCGFS have certified three coins as such. Could these be misattributed originals, or early impression, prooflike business strikes? Without actually seeing the coins, there is no way for us to tell. What we do know is that all restrike 1851 Seated Dollars display a centered date, as opposed to the high date on originals. Two die marriages are known, with the obverse of the present coin displaying the following diagnostics:

1. Die rust on the 51 in the date.

2. Tiny raised lump in Liberty's drapery folds above the middle point of the shield.

The reverse die is identifiable by:

1. Lines in stripe 1 taper toward the junction with the lowest crossbar.

2. Flat areas within shield only partially polished.

Interestingly, some of the diagnostics that Bowers attributes to the second obverse die are evident on this coin, namely slight doubling on a few of the stars. Stars 1, 2, 12, and 13 also display a curious feature: shadowing toward the denticles. We are at a loss to explain all of these features, but we believe that they represent some kind of strike doubling from the multiple impressions that this coin probably received in the press.
Numismatists believe that the restrike 1851 Dollars were produced circa 1858 expressly to supply collectors with an example of this rare date. Perhaps 30-40 coins are extant, if current NGC and PCGS data is accurate (1/02). The present Select representative is uniformly brilliant on the obverse with an appreciably cameoed sheen on the reverse. The strike is full, and the surfaces do not reveal any hairlines that are out of context with the designated grade. Somewhat subdued tan-gray, cobalt-blue, and lilac toning hugs the peripheries. A concentration of contact marks that appear as a small scrape in the obverse field inside star 13 is the most useful pedigree marker. (NGC ID# 2524, PCGS# 6993)

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Auction Dates
April, 2002
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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