1799 $1 Obverse Stars 8x5 MS (PCGS# 6881)

2010 June Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1140

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1799 $1 8x5 Stars AU55 NGC. B-23, BB-159, R.2. There are 22 known varieties of the 1799 Draped Bust dollar, but only the BB-159 variety has the obverse stars arranged in an 8x5 pattern. This unique arrangement of obverse stars has attracted collector interest since the early days of the hobby, and examples of this die marriage typically command a considerable premium over other varieties of similar rarity. As far back as the sale of the Cohen Collection (Cogan, 10/1875) catalogers were noting this distinctive variety, and collectors responded with spirited bidding. Lot 529 of that famous sale reads, "1799 5 stars facing. Unusually good for this rare type." The lot sold to dealer John W. Haseltine for $4, compared to the $2 paid for the "Very beautiful impression" 7x6 stars coin offered in the previous lot. Most examples seen are in lower circulated grades, and the issue is rare at the AU55 level. Currently, NGC has graded four examples in AU55, with three finer; while PCGS has certified only three specimens in AU55, with two finer (4/10). The present coin is a pleasing, well preserved specimen, with only a touch of wear on the high points of the design. The coin was sharply struck, and significant traces of mint luster cling to the surfaces. No mentionable distractions are noted.
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