1900 $1 Lafayette MS (PCGS# 9222)

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1900 $1 Lafayette Dollar MS67 NGC. DuVall 2-C. Charles Barber, designer of the Lafayette dollar, was proud of his work as an engraver, and often pointed to his years of expertise in an official capacity when engaged in one of his many disputes with several different outside artists over technical specifications for new designs. In this sense, the Lafayette dollar represents something of a failure for the chief engraver, since neither side, especially not the reverse, exhibits full high point detail on any example. A particular point of trouble is the mounted Lafayette's boot, which is demarcated from his trousers only rarely and never rounded. While the minting process for the only classic commemorative silver dollar was hastily executed, it is a criticism of Barber that his work likely would have failed to strike up satisfactorily even under optimal conditions. This exquisitely preserved Lafayette dollar exhibits above-average detail and powerful luster beneath distinctive and variegated patina. An outer ring of pale emerald surrounds an ocean-blue and amethyst center laced with thin streaks of orange, while the reverse is predominantly sky-blue with splashes of russet-violet at the rims and the horse's head. Aside from a fingerprint in the right reverse field, the surfaces are practically flawless, with none of the abrasions found so often on the portraits or the statue. A wonderful example that is worthy of the finest collection. One of just eight examples graded MS67 by NGC, with only five certified at that level by PCGS, and no coins finer at either service (6/12).
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