1798 $1 B-16 BB-110 MS (PCGS# 40027)

August 2011 Chicago ANA - Rarities Night

  • Auctioneer:
    Stack's Bowers
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Lot Description
1798 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Large Eagle. B-16, BB-110. Rarity-6. Bowers Die State III. Pointed 9, Wide Date. MS-62 (PCGS). CAC. Secu... Glorious quality for any early dollar and a coin that boasts incredible gunmetal-blue, gold and green iridescence spanning the obverse and reverse. These colors are precisely the same as the last time we (Jim Matthews) cataloged this same coin back in 1990 for the H. Rolland Willasch Collection. When a lamp is used to examine the surfaces the lustrous fields come alive while the jewel tones become vivid testaments to a carefully preserved and long cherished silver coin. Such old style cabinet toning is a feast for the numismatic eye. One of the most important hallmarks of this rarity is the heavy die crack that spans the lower left obverse from the tops of the 179 to the left rim just below the first star. This obverse die cracked very early in its use, and perhaps two or three surviving coins show little or no evidence where the crack begins at the top of the 17. With each progressive strike the crack grew, finally reaching the rim below the first star as well as to the top of the 9. Most of the known examples have this die crack, with one or two showing a more dramatic failure of the die where a small piece becomes displaced below the first star. Here, the crack has advanced to a state with a late retained cud, with an additional piece becoming loose and sinking from the die plane surface, so the struck metal is raised to fill in the void formed by the die. The retained cud was still attached to the die as the struck portion of the reverse has some definition, plus the edge dentils can be seen on the obverse but dramatically displaced. No later die state examples are known from this obverse die, and it was likely retired soon after the present coin was struck. Of the dozen or so examples of this variety personally examined, all showed different die stat
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