Dollars : Draped Bust Dollar : Type 2, Heraldic Eagle

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Obverse of 1799 Draped Bust Silver Dollar Reverse of 1799 Draped Bust Silver Dollar

Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): This style continues the Draped Bust obverse as preceding, except that the stars have been standardized to seven left and six right, the only exception being a scarce variety of 1799 with eight left and five right.  The reverse is similar to that used on the dime of the year and is adapted from the Great Seal of the United States.

Large Eagle Bust dollars were minted from 1798 through 1803.  In later years, “restrike” pieces were produced dated 1804 as were Proof restrikes from new dies bearing the dates 1801, 1802 and 1803.  Among business strikes, examples most often encountered are apt to be dated 1798 or 1799.  Those dated 1800 are scarcer, while those dated from 1801 to 1803 are considerably scarcer, although they are not rarities.  Dozens of varieties exist, and are listed in a work by M. H. Bolender. 

Grades found usually range from Very Good through Very Fine.  Extremely Fine and AU coins are scarce.  Strictly Uncirculated coins are rather rare.  In keeping with other early silver issues, pieces often display mint-caused planchet or adjustment marks, and areas of light striking.

-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers