1798 $1 Small Eagle, 13 Stars MS (PCGS# 6867)

2012 April 18-22 US Coins & Platinum Night CSNS Signature Auction- Schaumburg #1169

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    5154
  • Grade:
    AU58
  • Price:
    $69,000.00
Lot Description
1798 $1 Small Eagle, 13 Stars AU58 NGC. CAC. B-1, BB-82, R.3. Die State III, also known as B-1a. The obverse die is lapped, apparently as always, with fragmented details at the top of the head and at the lower hair curls, while the reverse die has advanced cracks as noted in the Bowers-Borckardt description of this latest die state. The 13 Stars obverse was the second 1798 silver dollar struck after the 15 Stars obverse was coined. At least, this is the assumed emission sequence, since the 15 Stars obverse follows similar varieties coined in 1796, and the 13 Stars obverse was next, just prior to the Heraldic Eagle coinage that continued through the end of the Draped Bust series. In fact, this obverse die was used for 1798 B-32, the next coin in the emission sequence and considered the first 1798 Heraldic Eagle variety coined. When the Bowers-Borckardt Encyclopedia was compiled two years ago, the best observed specimen of this die marriage was recorded as AU55, although a single finer Mint State piece was listed. That piece was last seen in the 19th century and likely grades lower, if it still exists today. More recently, four submissions have been graded Mint State, likely including duplication. Those coins include one MS63 NGC coin and an MS61 PCGS coin. NGC also lists two MS60 examples in their Census Report. The present coin compares favorably with those other pieces and is similar to the Hesselgesser specimen, an AU58 PCGS coin that sold for $356,500 in the May 2011 Goldberg auction. It also compares favorably to the MS61 PCGS coin that was upgraded from AU58 PCGS when we sold it for $230,000 in August 2007. This is a sensational example with virtually full luster and exceptional eye appeal. The fields display full mint frost with only a trace of wear to break the luster, a soft, satiny appearance under warm gold and ivory toning. A few slight blemishes are barely worth mentioning. Examples of the 1798 Small Eagle silver dollars are seldom encountered in grades
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