Four Obverse Dies (Order of Use)
To strike the Proof novodels dated 1801, 1802, 1803, and 1804, four different obverse dies, one for each date, were utilized. As it developed, each of these four obverses was mated with Reverse X, but only the 1804 obverse was mated with reverse Y.
All known novodels struck from Reverse X have the die break through NITED. This die break was "active" and increased in its length as the die was used. A study of this die break reveals that obverse dies were mated with it in the following order:
First mating: 1804 die. In this mating (as exemplified by examination of the King of Siam 1804 dollar) the break extends just slightly more than a denticle's width past the D in UNITED. This is the earliest die break seen. Thus, the 1804 must have been struck before the following. As the King of Siam 1804 dollar is known to have been struck in late 1834, this die was in use in 1834.
Second mating: 1802 die. In this mating, the break is known extending farther past D, ending, and then resuming to continue to the bottom of the left most wing feather (the break is probably continuous to the feather, but so subtle that for a small distance it cannot be seen); and on another 1802 specimen, extending uninterruptedly from the D to the lowest wing feather. Thus, 1802 must have been struck after the 1804 dollars. The year in which this die was used is not known from evidence presented thus far, but the coins had to have been struck no earlier than late 1834.
Third mating: 1803 die. In this mating, the break from D to the left most wing feather is continuous and very distinctive. In addition, all known 1803 novodels have a linear depression on the reverse in the field below UM of UNUM, from a piece of foreign matter adhering to the die. This also is found on all known 1801 novodels, but not on 1802s. The year in which this die was used is not known from evidence presented thus far. However, the presence of this piece of foreign matter in the die suggests that the 1803 and 1801 novodels were struck at the same time.
â€¢ Fourth mating: 1801 die. This attribution is tentative. Photographic evidence indicates the obverse die crack may be in a slightly later state.
Provisional conclusions: The conclusions summarized to this point are as follows:
â€¢ The 1804 was struck first, and was struck no later than autumn 1834.
â€¢ The 1802 was struck next, at an unknown date, but not before the King of Siam 1804 was struck in late 1834.
The 1803 was struck next, at an unknown date, after the 1802 novodels were struck, in the same press operation as the 1801 striking (as evidenced by foreign matter on the reverse die), but before the 1801s were made.
The 1801 was struck next, at an unknown date.