1803 $1 PR (PCGS# 6906)

2013 January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #1181

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1803 $1 PR66 PCGS. B-7, BB-303, High R.7. The proof silver dollars of 1801-1803, known as novodels to present-day collectors, are among the rarest and most valuable issues in the U.S. federal coinage series. Closely associated with the famous 1804 dollar, these early proofs are even more elusive than that celebrated rarity. With a surviving population of just four examples, the 1803 proof Draped Bust dollar is actually twice as rare as the Class I 1804, which is represented by eight specimens in numismatic hands today. Because the 1804 was recognized as a rare issue at an early date, it has always had an advantage over its less-numerous 1801-1803 counterparts, which were unknown before 1876, and has historically sold for much higher prices. The gap has narrowed considerably in recent years however, as collectors have become more aware of the true rarity and outstanding eye appeal of these early proofs. The PR65 Cameo PCGS example of the 1802 novodel offered in lot 2088 of the David Queller Family Collection (Heritage, 4/2008), realized $920,000, and a similarly graded example in another Heritage auction last summer realized a respectable $851,000. While the 1803 proof claims the same total number of specimens extant as the 1802, the 1803 issue appears at auction less frequently. Heritage Auctions is pleased to offer a magnificent Premium Gem specimen of this rare issue, in only its second auction appearance. It would be no surprise if this higher-graded 1803 specimen exceeds the $1 million barrier that its 1802 counterparts have flirted with in recent years. First Appearance The proof dollars of 1801-1803 were unknown in any collection before 1876. In January of that year, Captain John W. Haseltine displayed a remarkable set of 1801-1803 proofs, accompanied by a Class III 1804 dollar, at Edward Cogan's sale of the Jewett Collection. Coin dealer Édouard Frossard left the following account of the event in the Coin Collector's Journal of March 1876: {blockquote}"At the
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