1801 $1 MS (PCGS# 6893)
The November 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 2608
View the Original Auction
1801 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. B-4, BB-214. Rarity-4. BB Die State II. AU-58 (PCGS). Deep and frosty lilac gray surfaces glow with a rich array of lively shades of neon blue, and plenty of soft luster remains in the protected areas. The in-hand appearance is bold for the grade, this despite a few scattered marks that come to light under low magnification. From a modest mintage for the date of 54,454 pieces, down considerably from the previous year's tally, and a figure that signified a dwindling need or use for the denomination; the following year, 1802, signified the low point of production for the type, with the mintage for 1803 another modest figure of 85,634 pieces. A truly lovely coin, an undeniably choice specimen within the assigned grade.<br /> <br /> <strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers</strong><br /> A pleasing coin this is, as noted above. With regard to mintage figures for the dates, these do not necessarily represent the numbers of coins <em>with that date</em> actually struck, as it was the practice to hold obverses and reverses on hand until they cracked or wore out--which could be at a later time. The record for longevity is held by the 1795 Small Letters die, which remained in use intermittently until 1798! A more famous example of the practice is the 1795 $5 gold obverse that was kept on hand at the Mint and used as late as 1798. Such interesting aspects of Mint practice and history are fascinating to contemplate today and add a great deal to the enjoyment of collecting these early series.