Magnificent Gem 1800 Silver Dollar, B-13, BB-193
1800 $1 MS65 NGC. Ex: Garrett. B-13 (formerly B-18), BB-193,
R.4. This phenomenal coin is from the fabled Garrett II Sale
(Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1980, lot 693), where it was cataloged as:
From the Historic Garrett Collection
"Choice AU-55, with many claims to full Unc. status. Nearly perfect strike, no adjustment marks, obverse displaying nearly complete mint frost, missing only on the highest areas of Miss Liberty. The slight friction there may well be attributable to coin-to-coin contact in a mint bag shortly after it was struck. The reverse is fully frosty and on its own could certainly be classified as Uncirculated.
"An 1800 dollar of any variety in this state is very rare. This piece needs to be examined to fully appreciate its outstanding qualities."
Much has changed in the 29 years since the text above was written for the Garrett sales. This is NOT a case of "well, grading standards are not as tight as they used to be." Several numismatists on our staff all concur that there is NO friction on the obverse highpoints, and the mint luster is full and unbroken throughout both sides of this coin. Clearly, the grading experts at NGC concur as well, in assigning a Gem grade to this historic pedigreed piece. The surfaces show original, delightful golden-brown patina on both sides, with intermingled shades of cobalt-green, red-orange, and violet, primarily near the borders.
Another change is in the terminology of the variety itself. "B-18" is actually Die State III of the B-13, BB-193 die pairing. In other words, Die State I, perfect dies on both sides, is the "old B-13" variety, three or more times scarcer than Die State III, the "old B-18."
The Bowers-Borckardt Silver Dollar Encyclopedia describes the Die State III (Bolender-18) state thusly:
"Second clashing. Obverse with faded clash marks from first clashing. No die cracks. Reverse with massive injury from second clashing. Now with raised lines through F and clouds 7 and 8 to stars below those clouds; clash marks in same position as Die State II, but now much bolder and more extensive. Die crack along top of AMERICA, extending about halfway beyond final A along the border toward the eagle's tail. This 'variety,' actually a die state, used to be called Bolender-18, and is very common. In nearly all strikings, the 8 of the date appears 'pinched' and the last two numerals appear somewhat heavier toward the bottom, undoubtedly the result of metal flow during striking."
While it is true that this is the most commonly found die state for this die pairing, this is quite an uncommon coin in terms of condition, and Garrett cataloger Q. David Bowers says so in so many words, even to the point of sounding apologetic for mentioning what he perceived to be a slight loss of obverse mint luster on a nonetheless exceptional piece. But when he says, "An 1800 dollar of any variety in this state is rare," he is discussing the state of preservation--not the die state.
As of (3/9), NGC has certified nearly 800 1800-dated silver dollars of all varieties, attributed and unattributed. Of those coins, there are precisely three pieces, all unattributed, that have attained the Gem MS65 grade. For attributed B-13, BB-193 pieces, the highest NGC grade assigned is to a single MS64 piece. PCGS has graded a single 1800-dated dollar (variety unknown) as MS65.
This piece bears the startlingly original look of an old-time dollar from a nice 19th century cabinet, exactly as it should, hailing from the historic and fabulous Garrett Collection sold by Bowers and Merena for Johns Hopkins University. For the numismatic connoisseur or early dollar specialist who desires a real Gem 1800, a prize from this magnificent consignment of coins of many different types, the present piece should be seriously considered.
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N14284) (NGC ID# 24X9, PCGS# 6887)
View all of [The Joseph C. Thomas Collection, Part Two ]
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