B-20, BB-16 2 Leaves. This R8 is the finest known BB-16 and the only one gradeable. The other two are damaged. The obverse is seen on the BB-18 and BB-17 and the reverse die is used on the BB-15. #1 CC of only 3 known specimens.
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."
Obv: Portrait I (Head of '94) Rev: Eagle I, Wreath I (2 leaves) (B-20.)
OBVERSE 4: Flowing hair in six curls. The lowest curl is very small and perfect, and touches the innermost point of star 1, as it continues to nearly complete a loop. Curl end is close to and extends toward innermost point on star 2. Last star partly under bust, but not as far under as BB-11, and not quite as close, but it is near. (Note: In BB-14 the last star is entirely under bust.) Wide date, most space between 1 and 7.
Obverse die used to strike 1795 BB-16, BB-17, and BB-18.
REVERSE D: See description under 1795 BB-15. Two leaves under each wing. 19 berries arranged 9x10.
Reverse die used to strike 1795 BB-15 and BB-16.
AUCTION POPULATION SURVEY: Fine: 1.
COLLECTING NOTES: Extremely rare. Just one has been traced. First described in Lester Merkin's sale of February 1972, Lot 299, by Walter H. Breen, as reprinted below.
The Stirling Specimen. F•15 Lester Merkin, February, 1972: 299. "New muling of known dies. Obverse Bolender-7, Reverse Bolender-B, but finer than Bolender plate coin of that variety. Immediately identified by straight die scratch in field, like part of an extra A, left of first A in AMERICA, pointing to the nearest berry; recut C in AMERICA. Just about VF, many obv. adjustment marks. Rev. sharper than obv. and fully VF. The Bolender-8 die was formerly known only by two impressions of that variety; the present muling is superior to either of them and in addition represents a discovery linking the Bolender-8 dies with the remainder of the group (Bolender 16, 10, 17, 1, 2, 7, 19, 18, 12, 5 and 6). Identified by Walter Breen, originally obtained merely as a specimen of the date. Unpublished, to date unique." Described as B-21 by Lester Merkin, this variety was later included in the revised. Bolender reference as Bolender-20. Frank M. Stirling Collection.
The first example discovered of this variety
(Assumed to be Frank Stirling Collection - Merkin 2/1972) - Dr. Hesselgesser Collection - Goldbergs 9/5/2011:5007, $94,875
The third example of this variety, discovered circa 2000
Purchased unattributed by an anonymous collector in 7/1966 - Bowers & Merena 3/2000:2051
The second example of this variety
Cardinal Collection, sold privately via John Haugh in 6/1998 - Jules Reiver Collection - Heritage 1/2006:23481, $9,200