B-21 BB-107, 10 Arrows. Possibly the finest known. Although graded AU58, this coin is UNC - MS63. Beautifully toned with exceptionally clean surfaces. R5. High CC coin. Est.Pop.30-50 coins.
Q. David Bowers: The following narrative, with minor editing, is from my "Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia" (Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc., 1993). Note: the Notable Specimens list should be used with caution - it has been updated in my 2013 edition of "The Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars 1794-1804."
OBVERSE 6: See description under 1798 BB-102. Die lump between center of date and bust.
Obverse die used to strike 1798 BB-102, BB-103, and BB-107.
REVERSE I: Only 10 arrows plus a stick (headless arrow) between the 2nd and 3rd shafts from the right. Five small berries, two top ones closest together. Point of leaf under left lower tip of I in AMERICA. Star distant from eagle's beak, Arc star pattern. Die crack along right wing tip, top of AM to border above E. In the later state of this. reverse (used to coin 1798 BB-108), this reverse die was relapped, and just 10 arrows are visible, but no headless stick. 1798 BB-107 was struck before 1798 BB-108.
Reverse die used to strike BB-107 (earlier state) and 1798 BB-108 (later state, lightly relapped).
Die State I: Perfect obverse die without lump. Perfect reverse die, not relapped, and without die cracks. May not exist.
Die State II: Obverse die lump between center of date and bust. Reverse not yet relapped, and with headless stick visible among 10 arrows. With die crack along right wing tip, top of AM, to border above E. The usual state.
Our photo shows what appears to be a crack from obverse denticles at 5:00 to the bust and faintly across Miss Liberty's neck. Another faint 'crack, from denticles just left of this other crack through bottom of dates. A short crack appears to' extend left from the lump above date.
COLLECTING NOTES: 1798 BB-107 falls in the scarce category among dollars of this date. About 250 to 450 are known. As is the case with any other dollar variety of this date, the potential exists for more to be discovered.
In his 1881 Type-Table, J.W. Haseltine called this variety very scarce. He also considered that the extra "arrow" was created simply by the die being more deeply impressed when striking specimens of BB-107, as compared to BB-108. In 1881 when Haseltine wrote his compendium, indeed even in 1950 when Bolender created his opus, very little was known in numismatic circles about die preparation and use during the era of 1794-1804 dollars.
Montgomery Specimen, MS-63. Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Montgomery Collection, 1976:1428, "Brilliant Uncirculated. Nearly if not completely in the Choice category. The fields possess full mint lustre. There is some minor friction on the higher points, due no doubt to contact with other dollars in a mint bag. A tiny planchet mark behind the head is mentioned for accuracy. Superb striking, a wealth of design detail."
New Netherlands Specimen. AU-58 net. (MS-60 with some scratches). New Netherlands 57th. Sale, 1963:1064. "Uncirculated; some light scratches; mostly on 'the reverse."
Hollinbeck-Kagin Specimen, AU-55. June 1970:613. "Near Uncirculated, only barest friction, lovely patina."
Bolender Specimen. AU-55. M.H. Bolender Collection, 1952. Superior Galleries, Gilhousen Collection, 1973:1238 Superior Galleries, Neggen Collection Sale, 1976:658. "Too many planchet adjustment marks in central obverse to qualify as Mint State. Frosty, with beautiful iridescent toning."
Turoff Specimen. AU-55. Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Julius Turoff Collection, 1976:439. "Borderline Uncirculated. A nearly fully lustrous coin with faint wear: on the highest points. Rather average strike but centered. The planchet has some typical rolling imperfections but is, 'in all; above average for the period."
Superior Auction '80 Specimen. AU-55. Superior Galleries "Auction '80" 1982:232. "Light steel toning on both sides."
1982 ANA Convention Sale Specimen. AU-55. Steve Ivy/1982:721. "Lustrous with attractive aqua and sea green pastel coloration. Very well struck except for the usual flatness on the eagle's head and the central shield. Unusually high obverse rim."
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