1802/1 $1 Narrow Date MS (PCGS# 6898)

Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1802/1 $1 Narrow Date MS63 NGC. B-4, BB-232, R.3. Die State II. Although five of the seven known die varieties of 1802-dated early dollars are overdates, the majority of extant survivors are of the perfect date type, with the relatively common 1802 BB-241 skewing the population dramatically. Why five 1801 obverse dies were modified with the 1802 date is not exactly clear. Bowers conjectures that the five obverse dies--which were never used to strike 1801 dated dollars--had not yet been hardened, thus allowing for the feasible application of an overdate. He furthers this train of thought by noting that three of the four 1801 varieties were actually struck in 1802, but not overdated for the simple fact that those particular dies were probably already hardened. Whatever the reason, collectors have always been attracted to the 1802/1 varieties for the dramatic visual appeal of the overdate. However, the fact that they are scarcer than the 1802 normal date coins adds to the collector’s challenge of finding a nice example. The quest becomes more difficult for those in pursuit of high grade specimens of an 1802/1 BB-232. Bowers notes that most examples “are in lower grades, although a few AU and Mint State coins have been reported.” The present piece has claims to Condition Census status, based on the information provided in the Bowers-Borckardt reference and current population data of the two main grading services. NGC, the certifier of the current example, has graded only one 1802/1 dollar at the MS63 level, regardless of attribution (3/08). PCGS does not differentiate between the five different overdate varieties for this issue, but their Population Report reveals that a single piece has been certified as MS63, with one finer, an MS64. The top coin in the Bowers' reference Condition Census is an MS63, with a string of MS60s and an AU58 rounding out that roster, which was compiled in 1993. Lustrous surfaces and stunning coloration coalesce to define this aesthetically pl
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