B-19 BB-106 Great Luster and Toning. probably in top 3 forCC. R4/5. Est.Pop.70-125 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 8: Wide date, distant from bust. Upper left star near L. Upper and lower right stars equidistant from Y and bust. First star points to lower edge of a denticle. On the left, stars are about equally spaced. On the right, stars 12 and 13 are slightly farther apart than are other stars, which are fairly evenly spaced. Vertical die crack down through stand of E in LIBERTY, across bust through 1 of date to border.
Obverse die used to strike 1798 BB-106 only.
REVERSE H: See description under 1798 BB-105, actually the later state of the die.
Reverse die used to strike 1798 BB-105 (later state) and BB-106 (early state).
Die State I: Perfect obverse die. May not exist.
Die State II: Obverse die break just beginning. Cf. Blevins:3672, described as "With the obverse crack barely visible on Liberty's hair and not yet reaching the bottom of the E in LIBERTY (comment by Harry E. Salyards, M.D., letter to the author, January 19, 1993:"If accurate, this is interesting in that the die break apparently began in the middle (deepest recesses) of the die, and then extended to the periphery-more commonly, it is the other way around.")
Die State III: On Die State III there is the familiar bisecting crack on the obverse which runs vertically from the E in LIBERTY to the 1 in the date. The die state usually seen.
Die State IV: On State IV there is a lump below the 1 in addition to the vertical crack described above. The left side of E is beginning to crumble. The Spies coin (Stack's, 1974) is VG-Fine.
Die State V: This die state shows further progress of the cracks described under IV, and the obverse is beginning to bulge. Vertical die crack on head below highest hair wave.
COLLECTING NOTES: 1798 BB-106 is one of the rarer varieties of the year. An estimated 80 to 140 exist, a comfortable population large enough to assure one for the cabinet of every specialist. Most examples are in the VF range. EF coins are elusive, and AU or finer pieces are exceedingly rare.
In his 1881, J.W. Haseltine called this variety very rare.
Superior Sale Specimen. MS-63. Superior's September 1987 Sale:2299. MS-63.
Hatie Specimen. AU-55. Bowers and Merena Galleries, George D. Hatie Collection, 1983:916. "Very wide date, distant from bust. With vertical break through E of LIBERTY, across bust, through 1 of date to border. Sharply struck. Choice AU-55 if not full MS-60. Some prooflike surface."
Cohen Specimen. EF-45. Bowers and Merena Galleries, Milton G. Cohen Collection, 1985:523. "The obverse displays a vertical die break, probably accounting for the rarity of this die combination. Choice EF-45. Sharply struck, finely detailed, and superb in all respects. Medium gray toning."
First National Bank of Denver Specimen. EF-45. Bowers and Merena Galleries, 1987:1211. "Very light grayish lavender iridescence. Well struck and attractive. There is a tiny obverse rim nick at 1:00."
Bareford Specimen. EF-40. B. Max Mehl, George W. Curtis Collection, January 1942:134. Stack's, Harold S. Bareford Collection, 1981:413. "Slight vertical crack through E of LIBERTY to the hair. EF. Even pale goldengray toning with considerable lustre."
Ostheimer Specimen. EF-40. Lester Merkin, A. J. Ostheimer, 3rd Collection, 1968:260. "Bisecting break, EF, weak in upper central obverse, around the break as always (cf. the much inferior Bolender plate coin, with the identical striking quality). Iridescent steel toning, reverse with much mint lustre; lovely surfaces." Ex Richard Picker.
Spies Specimen. EF-40. Stack's, W. Earl Spies Collection, 1974:83. "Vertical break which bisects the coin from E to 1 is quite obvious. EF, lustrous and slightly prooflike."
Ivy Specimen. EF-40. Steve Ivy sold an EF coin in 1983. (Reported by Douglas Winter.)
Blevins Specimen. EF-40. Superior Galleries, H.W. Blevins Collection, 1988:3672. "Exceptionally attractive violet-gray coloring which changes to antique gold in the protected areas. Very well struck with sharp hair and feathers, plus very well defined denticles. The surfaces are quite dean with the exception of some very light scratches on Liberty's cheek and in the field before her chin and mouth. Very early die state with the obverse crack, as described by Bolender, barely visible on Liberty’s hair and not yet reaching the bottom of the E in LIBERTY.". Yolanda Gross Collection.
October Sale Specimen. EF-4O net (AU-50, cleaned and retoned). Superior Galleries, 1990:1195. "AU-50. Cleaned and retoned to a charcoal black. No significant handling marks, a tiny depression below Liberty's bow. Trivial rim marks about upper obverse fail to detract. Early die state with a light crack vertically bisecting the obverse."
Baldenhofer Specimen. VF-20 net (EF-40, processed. W.G. Baldenhofer to Stack's, Farish-Baldenhofer Sale, 1985. A. J. Ostheimer, 3rd Collection. Superior Galleries, ANA Convention Sale, 1975:878. "The bisecting break. Early strike. EF-40, but processed. While the obverse shows many handling marks, none are really serious. Not quite perfect centering, but well struck considering the state of the dies."
Green Specimen. VF-20. M.H. Bolender's personal coin was graded VF and was from the Col. E.H.R. Green Collection, I as were many of Bolender's other pieces.
Dr. Hesselgesser Collection - Goldbergs 9/5/2011:5043, $9,487.50