1796 $1 Small Date, Lg Letters MS (PCGS# 6860)
The March 2010 Baltimore Auction
Auctioneer: Bowers & Merena
Lot Number: 937
View the Original Auction
Bright, brilliant surfaces allow ready appreciation of bold-to-sharp definition as well as ample remnants of satin-to-semi-PL luster. The fields are particularly flashy, revealing as they do modest hints of reflectivity as the surfaces rotate under a light. The strike is rather well executed by early Dollar standards, and the only mentionable softness of detail is confined to the eagle's breast and legs in the center of the reverse--a feature that is probably due as much to wear as it is to deficiencies with the strike. Wispy abrasions are insignificant at this grade level, and the eye appeal is sure to attract the attention of many bidders.<br /> The 1796 is the second date in the Draped Bust, Small Eagle Silver Dollar series of 1795-1798. B-4 is one of only two Small Date, Large Letters die marriages known for this issue, and it is the only realistic option for most collectors given the extreme rarity of B-6 in numismatic circles (probably fewer than five examples known). Of course, all Small Eagle Silver Dollars are scarce and eagerly sought coins regardless of die marriage, especially in the finer circulated and Mint State grades. For above the EF grade level, there are nowhere near enough Small Eagle Dollars extant to meet the demand from high-grade type collectors.