1799 $1 MS (PCGS# 6878)

2014 June 23 The Eugene H. Gardner Collection of US Coins Signature Auction - New York #1213

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    30589
  • Grade:
    MS63+
  • Price:
    $61,687.50
Lot Description
1799 $1 7x6 Stars MS63+ PCGS. CAC. B-16, BB-158, R.2. Bowers Die State IV with several peripheral obverse die cracks. Walnut-brown toning graces the reverse and much of the obverse. The obverse field and portrait high points are gunmetal-gray. Well-struck and satiny with exceptionally mark-free surfaces. A highly desirable Heraldic Eagle type coin. Variety: B-16, BB-158. One of six 1799 die varieties with a defective left serif on the U in UNITED. Although B-16 developed numerous cracks and clashes, the dies lasted long enough to make the variety among the most available for the issue. However, the typical B-16 grades Very Fine. In his early dollar Encyclopedia, Q. David Bowers writes, "Mint State coins are very rare. Most [such] appearances are from years ago. It is probable that some of these would grade only AU today." Population Data (5/14): PCGS has certified only one MS63 1799 dollar as BB-158, with none finer. Without further indication of die variety, PCGS has also graded 10 MS63, one MS63+, 10 MS64, one MS64+, two MS65, one MS65+, and two MS66. NGC has certified one MS64 as BB-158, and, without mention of die variety, 18 MS63, 13 MS64, four MS65, and one MS66. CAC lists three MS63, two MS64, and one MS65. Heritage Commentary: 1799 was the first full year of the Heraldic Eagle reverse and the "high water mark" of early dollar production. 22 die varieties are known, and most, like BB-158, fall into the 7x6 Stars category with a normal date and 13 reverse stars. While the first Philadelphia Mint toiled to coin 1799 dollars, no half dollars, quarters, dimes, or half dimes with that date exist. The reason is that bullion depositors preferred the dollar denomination over its fractional cousins, partly because there were fewer coins to count, and partly because the silver dollar had achieved acceptance in foreign markets. In East Coast commerce, Spanish-American silver was seen much more often than Bust dollars and remained legal tender until 1857. ...
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