1797 $1 9X7 Stars, Small Letters MS (PCGS# 6866)

2002 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale #280

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    7182
  • Grade:
    AU55
  • Price:
    $34,500.00
Lot Description
1797 $1 9x7 Stars, Small Letters AU55 NGC. B-2, BB-72. R.4. Die State I. Rarely does one get the opportunity to acquire a high grade specimen of the rare and desirable 1797 "Small Letters Reverse" Dollar. In fact, this variety is unpriced in any grade higher than VF20 in the current Guide Book. This coin is well struck for the variety, with weakness in the central areas, as always seen. The surfaces display mottled gray, gold, and blue toning. This variety has 16 stars, with 9 on the left of Liberty and 7 to the right. The diagnostic die lines can be seen clearly under Liberty's chin in front of her neck on this Almost Uncirculated example. The reverse is the rare Small Eagle, Small Letters reverse of 1797. The reverse die used to strike this variety was first used to strike Dollars in 1795 and 1796. This is the fifth use of this "workhorse" die, which was then used one more time, to strike the 1798 Small Eagle, 15 Stars Dollar. Condition Census: This coin clearly falls into the Condition Census for the variety. The finest known to us is the Newman Specimen MS62, which is the plate coin illustrated in the Bowers Silver Dollar book. The second finest known (in 1993, when this book was published) was the Carter coin, which was lot 218 in that historic offering in 1984. It was graded AU50 in the 1993 census and today is graded AU55. The Carter Specimen has changed hands at least two times in the last 10 years, most recently in 1999 at a price in the low-middle five-figure range. There was an example graded AU55 in our 1998 Portland ANA Auction, August 5-7, 1998: 8027. A piece offered by a dealer/specialist at the August 1998 ANA Convention in Portland was graded AU53 PCGS, with adjustment marks on the eagle's right wing. These are the top five specimens known to us, and, as always, there could be others. But very likely, this specimen is one of the three or four top specimens known today. From the Michael Hering Collection.
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