1798 $1 Wide Date MS (PCGS# 6877)

2009 February Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1122

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1798 $1 Large Eagle, Pointed 9, 4 Vertical Lines MS63 NGC. B-14, BB-122, R.3. Die State IV. This is one of the rare monogamous die pairings in the early dollar series, in that both sides of this coin are found in no other marriages. The obverse closely resembles that of B-24, BB-124, but on BB-122 the 8 in the date is twice as close to the bust as on BB-124, virtually touching, and stars 11-12 are much closer. It has a medium wide date. The reverse shows the eagle's right (facing) claw touching the last A in AMERICA, the only 1798 reverse with that feature. NGC classifies this piece as the "Pointed 9, Wide Date" variety in its online Census Report, where this is the single Mint State example of the B-14, BB-122 variety certified. The Guide Book also calls it the Pointed 9, Wide Date, for collectors of those varieties. The PCGS online Population Report includes the B-14, BB-122 as one of many varieties under its PCGS number for the Pointed 9, 4 Vertical Lines dollars. PCGS shows a total of five BB-122 coins certified at that service, the finest an AU55. (We suspect that coin is the AU55 PCGS example in the PCGS Registry Set of Dr. Robert Hesselgesser, where he notes that is in the top three Condition Census coins for the variety; it appears to be the single finest certified at PCGS.) For the entire Pointed 9, 4 Lines subtype, PCGS has certified only four Mint State coins: two MS61, one MS62, one MS64. When Dave Bowers was writing his massive (and now-largely unavailable) Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia, he commented that "Somewhere in the range of 350 to 550 1798 BB-122 dollars are believed to exist. The variety is very rare above EF and may be unknown in Mint State." The Notable Specimens in his list included several AU50 examples, and none finer. He provides a Condition Census with two AU55 examples at the top--probably conjectural, as the pieces specifically mentioned from past auctions had AU50 as their top grade. Wh
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