Chapter 4: Early Dollars, Guide to Collecting and Investing Table of Contents

1802 VG. $1.25.
1803 Small 3. Sharp, Unc., slight attrition. $1.25.
1803 VG. $2.55.

The George Rice Collection, sold by St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company, April 13, 14, 1906. The cabinet consisted of a set of major varieties from 1794 through 1803. The St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company was managed for a long time, and later owned, by Burdette G. Johnson. B.G. Johnson had the knack of being in the right place at the right time, and later in his career handled much of the numismatic estates of Virgil M. Brand and Col. E.H.R. Green, including all five of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels owned by the latter.
1794 Strong, even impression of this always weakly struck coin. All portions of the design show plainly except top half of first S of STATES. One of the finest specimens known of this extremely rare coin. Cost owner $225. VF. $180.00.
1795 Point of bust far from first star, very strong impression, Unc, Very rare. $8.00.
1795 Long bust points to second star. Good. $3.00.
1795 Rev. Three leaves below eagle's wing. Unc., strong, sharp, even impression. Very rare. $5.10.
1795 Same, different dies. VG. $3.00. 1795 Fillet Head. About Fine. $3.00.
1796 Large Date, Rev., small letters. VG. $4.00. 1796 Small Date, Rev., small letters. VF. $4.00.
1796 Small Date, Rev., large letters, About VG. $3.00. 1797 Six Stars Facing. VG. $3.25.
1797 Seven Stars Facing. VG. $3.25.
1798 Obv. 15 Stars, Rev., small eagle, About Fine. Very rare. $6.00.
1798 Obv. 13 Stars, Rev., small eagle, About Fine. Rare. $3.30.
1798 Obv., no knob to 9, Rev., Heraldic eagle. Unc, $6.00.
1798 Knob to 9. Good. $1.90.
1799/8 VG. $2.10.
1799 Six Stars Facing. EF. $3.20.
1799 Six Stars Facing. VG. $2.10.
1799 Close 17, faint cracks on bust. VG. $2.00.
1799 Five Stars Facing. EF. Rare. $3.90.
1800 Obv. Fine, Rev. VF. $3.10.
1800 VG. $2.50.
1801 About Fine. $3.00. 1802/1 EF. $2.95.
1802 Perfect Date. EF. $6.10.
1803 Small 3, Unc., some mint bloom, fine, sharp impression. $8.20.
1803 Large 3, Unc., fine, sharp impression, some Proof surface. $7.75.
1804 Electrotype. VG. $6.10.

Ben G. Green's 23rd Sale, May 25, 1906, featured sparse descriptions of the varieties therein. While a few cataloguers-very few-attributed early dollars by Haseltine numbers, the vast majority did not. Descriptions were inconsistent. Were the first two 1795 dollars of the Flowing Hair type? Possibly they were, by implication, as the third is listed as Fillet Head (Draped Bust in today's terminology), but we may never know.
In view of inconsistencies in grading and wide differences in cataloguing styles, mail bidders were often wary of such sales. As a result, most coins sold to floor bidders, including dealers representing clients. In the instance of complete mail bid sales (such as those conducted by B. Max Mehl, who never had a floor bid sale), descriptions were often more elaborate, to create a mental image of the coin for the prospective buyer.
1794 VG. $82.00
1795 VF. $3.85.
1795 Obverse Fine, reverse EF and sharp; shows mint lustre. A few trifling scratches. $4.00.
1795 VF, strong impression. $4.25.
1795 Fillet Head. Practically Unc., almost Proof surface.
Sharply and evenly struck. $8.00.
1796 VF. $3.85.
1796 VG. $3.55.
1797 VG. $3.40.
1798 VG. $5.50.
1798 Fine. Sharp. $3.85.
1798 VF. Shows mint bloom. $2.95.
1798 EF, almost Unc. Splendid, strong impression. Faint drift marks [carbon streaks]. $3.85.
1799/8 Sharp dent below 1 of date. VF. $2.95.
1799 VG. $3.65.
1799 VF. $2.70.
1799 VF. $2.75.
1800 Fine. $2.90.
1801 VG. $2.95.
1801 Fine. $3.00.
1802/1 EF. Reverse shows mint lustre. $5.00.
1802 Fine. $2.80.
1803 EF. reverse shows lustre. Drift marks on obverse. $4.00.


Henry Chapman's sale of the Matthew Adams Stickney Collection, June 25-29, 1907. This magnificent cabinet, begun in the first half of the nineteenth century, contained many outstanding pieces, and many mediocre coins as well. The Chapmans went to some length to describe the varieties but for some reason did not elect to use Haseltine numbers, which would have simplified the process.
1794 Fine. Extremely rare. $190.00.
1795 Head resembling that on the 1794. Three leaves under each wing of eagle; attempted hole near edge on reverse. Good. $2.50.
1795 Head with intent expression on face, curl between points of first star. Rev. Three leaves under each wing of eagle. EF, only the slightest cabinet friction. Mint lustre. $12.00.
1795 Large head, curl high in field between stars. The variety with short bar in die behind head. Rev. as last. VF. $4.30.
1795 Large head, curl passes through star; die cracked from edge through 7 of date up into the head. Rev. As last. Good. Rare die. $2.50.
1795 Large head, curl passes through star and curls up toward bust; similar but different from last. Rev. Two leaves under each wing of eagle. VG. $3.10.
1795 Large head, curl touches and stops at point of star. Rev. As last. VG. $2.75.
1795 Small head far from LIBERTY, curl touches two points of star, and point of bust almost touches star. Rev. Two leaves under each wing, different die from preceding. EF. Mint lustre. $9.50.
1795 Type with bust in left of the field. VF. $8.50.
1796 Large Date. Rev. small letters in legend. VF. Rare. $9.50.
1796 Small Date. Rev. small letters in legend. VG. Slight scratch on obverse. $3.25.
1796 Small Date. Rev. large letters in legend: VG. Rare. $3.50.
1797 Six stars before bust, ten behind it. Rev. large letters in legend. EF. Sharp stars, and a very superior example in every way. Mint lustre. $13.00.
1797 9x7 stars. Rev. large letters. VG. $3.60. 1798 7x6 stars. Rev. small eagle. VF. $6.25.
1798 8x7. 15 Stars. Die broken from between bust and last star to chin. Rev. small eagle as above, but legend in small letters. VF. $11.50.
1798 Close date, high 8; 7x6 stars. Heraldic eagle. Unc. Sharp, even impression with brilliant mint lustre. $18.00.
1798 Same dies as last. VF. $2.40.
1798 Close date, high 8; curious break in die begins under the 9 and extends to first star on left, thence to ribbon in hair, and on right side to field before face. Rev. three stars before eagle's head in almost straight line. VF. $2.25.
1798 Close, even date. Rev. different die. Good. $2.50.
1798 Wide date, the 8 touches bust. Rev. Stars grouped three, line of five, and line of six far from clouds. EF. $6.25.
1799 8x5 stars. EF. Sharp impression. Mint lustre. $20.00. 1799 7x6 stars. Rev. each star of upper row of stars touches a cloud. Unc. Mint lustre. Sharp impression. $4.50.
1799 Die cracked around date and over bust in several directions. Star at Y close at L farther than last die. Rev. Same die. EF. $2.75.
1799 Erratic uneven date. Rev. 14 stars! One just emerging from first cloud. Good. $2.00.
1799 Even date. Rev. no berries on laurel branch. Unc.
Only the slightest cabinet wear on bust. Mint lustre. $4.50.
1799 Even date, though last 9 is slightly higher; star before and after LIBERTY evenly spaced-wide. Rev. same as last no berries on laurel. EF; a magnificent dollar. $6.00.
1799 Same as last. VF. $2.50.

Chapter 4: Early Dollars, Guide to Collecting and Investing Table of Contents