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SERIES: Draped Bust Dollars 1801-1804
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1803 $1, CA (Proof)

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PCGS PR65+CA
PCGS #:
86906
Diameter:
40.00 millimeters
Designer:
Robert Scot
Weight:
27.00 grams
Edge:
Lettered: HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT
Mintage:
10
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
65
-
65
65+
875,000
1
65+
66
1,350,000
1
66
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 3 R-9.8 1 / 2 1 / 2
60 or Better 3 R-9.8 1 / 2 1 / 2
65 or Better 3 R-9.8 1 / 2 1 / 2
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR66CAM PCGS grade  
2 PR65CAM estimated grade  
3 PR64CAM estimated grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR66CAM PCGS grade  
2 PR65CAM estimated grade  
3 PR64CAM estimated grade  

Ron Guth: As P. Scott Rubin notes below, there has been some confusion as to how many Proof 1803 Dollars actually exist.  The total of four examples appears to be correct...at least, that is the number of images that anyone has been able to locate of Proof 1803 Dollars after scanning all of the relevant auction sales.  Part of the confusion as to how many are known derives from the persistent mixing and splitting of pedigrees, giving the false impression of more examples.


P. Scott Rubin: The 1803 Proof Silver Dollar is an extremely rare issue with only four specimens reported known. For many years it was believed that ten to twelve specimens of this issue existed. It was not until research done in the 1970’s showed that only three individual specimens could be identified. In the early 1990’s a fourth specimen was reported, so as of now (2014) that is where the population stands.

The 1803 Proof Silver Dollar has been called a restrike, however since there were no 1803 Silver Dollars made in Proof before these coins appeared and because they are struck from dies not made until many years after their date, the term restrike is not correct.

All 1803 Proof Silver Dollars grade as follows: three are graded Proof(66) and one in Proof(65), with PCGS grading two in Proof(66) and NGC grading one in Proof(66) and one in Proof(65). To date the highest price realized is for a PCGS graded Proof(66) specimen sold by Heritage in their 2013 FUN Platinum Night Sale as lot 5723 for $851,875.

The 1803 Proof Silver Dollar is closely related to the 1801 and 1802 and 1804 Proof Silver Dollars. There is no evidence existing that proves when the 1803 Proof Silver Dollar obverse die was made. The reverse die used to strike this coin is the same as the Class I or Original 1804 Silver Dollars, so we know that die was prepared by 1834. We know that the punch used to create the bust on the 1803 coins is the same as used to create the 1804 Dollars.

We know that the 1801 and 1803 Proof Silver dollars were struck at the same time and that they were struck before the 1802 Proof Silver dollars by the condition of the reverse die at the time of striking. What we do not have evidence of is an exact date of striking. It is probable that they were struck around 1858 but some believe they were struck as late as the early 1870’s. Since the first time the numismatic public was made aware of the 1801, 1802 and 1803 Proof Silver Dollars was in 1876 either is possible.