1796 $1 Small Date, Lg Letters MS (PCGS# 6860)

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1796 $1 Small Date, Large Letters MS61 PCGS. B-4, BB-61, R.2. Small, Wide Date, 96 close, die dot above 1; berry under first T in STATES. Reiver Die State a. Bowers-Borckardt Die State I. The Reiver plate coin for the variety; both obverse and reverse. An outstanding Uncirculated example of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar, and one of just a handful that survived in this lofty grade. The surfaces are frosty and show unbroken luster in the fields and on most of the devices. Liberty's curls show strong separation on all but a couple of the highest and finest hair strands, which are weak. Most of the breast feathers are sharp on the eagle, as well as the finer definition on the wing feathers. There are some crisscrossing adjustment marks on the reverse, primarily on the eagle (where they were not quite struck over by the dies), and along the rims. These adjustment marks are fairly light and not distracting to the unaided eye, but can clearly be seen with a loupe. No rim problems or surface disturbances, and this coin is a delight to view. From a die state perspective, this coin was struck very early in the life of the obverse and reverse die. Note that the curl on Liberty's head is sharp and complete and shows no sign of lapping of the die. Similarly, the lower curl nestled between the first two stars is sharp, and this curl is often lapped away to some degree, particularly on this die variety. The die dot over the 1 in the date is very sharp, and this may have been caused by a mispunched 1 or was simply a small defect in the die similar to the lump on the reverse of the B-5, BB-65 variety. There are fewer than a dozen coins of this date which are the equal of or finer than the present example, as virtually every coin struck entered circulation and stayed there are least for a brief time. More importantly, the Small Date, Large Letters variety seen here is inexplicably hard to find in Uncirculated grades. Most of the surviving 1796 silver dollars in Mint State are t
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