1796 B-4, BB-61 Dollar, MS63+
    Small Date, Large Letters
    The Finest Known Example
    The Bowers-Borckardt Plate Coin

    1796 $1 Small Date, Large Letters MS63+ NGC. B-4, BB-61, R.2. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Fully brilliant surfaces exhibit satin luster under original pale champagne toning with peripheral gold and blue highlights. A small mark in the right obverse field near the nose will identify the provenance of this lovely piece. The strike is a trifle soft on a few hair strands and on the high points of the eagle.

    Obverse Die. The obverse appears on B-4, BB-61 and B-3, BB-62, the latter a major rarity. This die appears here in the early state, and on the other variety in a later state. In practice, a tiny raised die flaw over the 1 in the date identifies this obverse in all die states.

    Reverse Die. This Large Letters reverse die is unique to the B-4, BB-61 die marriage. The reverse of B-6, BB-64 is the only other Large Letters reverse die among 1796 silver dollars, with only three confirmed pieces.

    Die State. Light die lapping or polishing is evident on the obverse, likely done before any coins were struck with these dies. The curl at the front of the forehead is detached and consists of three arcs attached at the top. The shoulder loop is a single line separated from the bust. No die cracks or clash marks appear on either die, but scattered die rust is evident.

    Condition Census. Only about half a dozen examples of B-4, BB-61 survive in Mint State grades. When the reverse die was made at the Mint, the eagle punch was lightly impressed into the die surface, and coins struck from this die pairing display shallow relief. Nearly every example quickly wore down, even after limited circulation. The Green-Newman coin, certified MS63+ by NGC, is a lovely original Mint State example of the 1796 Small Date, Large Letters B-4, BB-61 die marriage; somehow it has survived the last 217 years in amazing condition. It is the finest known example of this die marriage and major type. The Newman specimen is finer than any examples listed in the 2013 edition of The Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars 1794-1804. This example was recorded in the Notable Specimens of the 1993 edition of Bowers-Borckardt, but was inexplicably omitted from the listings in the 2013 Encyclopedia.

    Appearances. The Newman specimen is the plate coin in the 1993 first edition of the Bowers-Borckardt reference, Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia. This specimen is illustrated as part of NGC's presentation of the Newman Collection at

    Commentary. There are three major types, usually called Guide Book varieties, known for the 1796 silver dollars. They are differentiated by the size of the date and the size of the reverse letters. Those three major types are the Small Date, Large Letters, the Small Date, Small Letters, and the Large Date, Small Letters. Six individual die varieties are known, and all are extremely rare or even non-existent in Mint State grades. Notably, two different die varieties in the Eric P. Newman Collection represent two of the three major types, and both are splendid Mint State pieces.

    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 @ $60.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 24X3, PCGS# 6860)

    Weight: 26.96 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    15th-16th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,711

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 21 days left to consign to the 2018 February 21 - 26 LB Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your individual dedication to the hobby, and that of Heritage.
    David C.,
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 December 7 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 December 7 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $6,852,289
    2017 December 7 - 8 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2017 December 7 - 8 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,478,782
    2017 December 6 - 8 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2017 December 6 - 8 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,021,963