Note: All known 1801 and 1803 Proof dollars (but not 1802 or 1804) have a small linear depression in the space between UM in UNUM and.the shield from a piece of metal or other foreign material on the die face during striking,
1802 Obverse Die
The 2 in date is curled at top, differing from any original 1802 obverse, and of the same "fancy" or curlicue style seen on certain 1820 half dollars (but half dollar dies were made from a smaller punch). Star 1 is about the same distance from the second curl as star 7 is from L. The star positioning is cruder than any original dollar of this date. On stars 1 to 7, all points closest to adjacent stars are misaligned! Obviously, whoever made this die was not accustomed to this work. On the right, the stars are aligned better, but this is ruined by something else that never occurred on an original of this date: stars 12 and 13 are so dose that they actually touch at their inner points! One is tempted to speculate that as the 1802 and 1803 obverses were the first novodels made, this, 1802 was the very first, and represented the die cutter "warming up."
Highest curl centered below the E in LIBERTY.
Raised border with dentides made up of truncated bead-like denticles quite unlike the tooth-like denticles of original dollars of the Draped Bust type. Original 1, 8,and '0 punches from the early 1800s were used to make the die. Digit 2 copied from one of the "fancy 2" digits usedon half dollars of the 1820s, as noted. Perfect die without cracks.
The top left curl tip is intact on the 1802 (and 1803) novodels, whereas on the 1801 and 1804 issues it is missing (due to hub damage). Thus, the 1802 and 1803 dies were made before the others. Possibly, the 1802 was made first, then the 1803.
DIE STATES (obverse and reverse die states):
Die State I: Obverse without cracks. Reverse with hairline crack from top right serif of N, sloping slightly downward through ITED, and ending at the bottom of the leftmost wing tip feather. (Cf. Cleneay and Wilharm.specimens)
1803 Obverse Die
Large 3 as on the 1803 Large 3 dollar (B-6) but from a new die. Stars on left are much better aligned than on the obverse of the 1802 novodel. On the 1803, the spacing is fairly good, but stars 3 and 4 are wider apart than are any others. Star 1 is closer to the second curl than star 7 is to L. On the right, the stars are well spaced and aligned.
Highest curl on top of head about centered under upright of E, and next top curl centered under R. A small raised line is present just above the obverse center dot; heavy rust marks around star four and light rust marks at the 18 in the date, possibly indicating the die was used long after it was made. The die was made by using original number punches from the early nineteenth century. Raised border with denticles made up of truncated beads.
The top left curl tip is intact on the 1803 (and 1802) novodels, whereas on the 1801 and 1804 issues it is missing (due to hub damage). Thus, the 1802 and 1803 dies were made before the others.
DIE STATES (obverse and reverse die states):
DieState I: Obverse without cracks. Reverse with hairline crack from top right serif of N, sloping slightly downward through ITED, and ending at the bottom of the leftmost wing tip feather. Apparently, struck about the same time as the 1802 Proof novodel. All specimens seen have raised spots, from heavy die rust, on and near star 4 and similar marks between the 1 and 8 in 1803, indication that the novodels were struck measurably later than the time the obverse die was prepared. Although dies could rust quickly in the humid Philadelphia summer' weather, deep rust pits such as these must have taken years to form.
Note: All known 1801 and 1803 Proof dollars (but.not 1802 or 1804) have a small linear depression in the space between UM in UNUM and the shield from a piece of metal or other foreign material on the die face during striking.
1804 Obverse Die
A later (circa 1830s) Mint copy of the general type with Draped Bust original used 1795-1803, with bust of Miss Liberty at the center, 7 stars left and 6 right, LIBERTY above, and the date 1804, below. Later (as used in the 1830s) style of denticulated border.
On the left, stars 1 and 2 are spaced closer together than are any of the others. Stars 2-3 and 4-5 are more widely spaced than any others. On the right, stars 12-13 are the closest together, and stars 10-11 have the widest separation. In LIBERTY, the I is tilted slightly to the right, with the left bottom in serif being slightly too high, and the right bottom serif slightly too low.
The left tip of the highest curl is missing, a flaw caused by a broken portrait punch. This flaw also is represented on the 1801 novodel, but not the 1802 and 1803.
Die State I: Perfect obverse die without cracks. Perfect reverse die without cracks. May not exist.
Die State II: Mint Collection specimen: Obverse: Break from outer point of star 6, touching same point of star 7, ending at upper left serif of L; another in field just left of upper left serif of L, through tops of LIBERT ending above center of T. Also, tiny crack connects tops of TY. (Data from Michael Hodder, who inspected the coin.)
Die State III: King of Siam specimen: Obverse: With hair-line crack beginning to the left of the top of L in LIBERTY, about 60% of the way toward the nearest upper point of star 7, and in line with the top of the L, extending through LIBER, to top of the left upper serif of T, then at a slight angle toward the border, ending above the junction of the upright of T and its left arm. Reverse: With hairline crack from top right serif of N, sloping slightly downward through ITED, and ending just past the left edge of the second denticle past the D. Crack resumes, and is hardly visible, at the leftmost feather. Struck prior to the 1802 and 1803 Proof dollars. The King of Siam coin may have been struck earlier than the Mint specimen. (Data from inspection of coin.)