B-11, BB-12 2 Leaves. This is a Rare R7. PCGS EF40 (CAC). The story about this coin is an amazing set of coincidences. I found this coin in a foreign auction by taking the catalogue after Ira Goldberg had thrown it away. I took the catalogue home and when I discovered this coin in the back of the auction catalogue, I couldn't beleive my eyes. Here was the famous rare BB-12 which coincidentally I was being offered a PCGSVF35 BB-12 for $50,000 by Harry Laibstein to review at Long Beach the same day this coin was to be auctioned off in England. I woke up at 4AM and managed with the help of one of Ira's contacts to purchase it for ~5000 Lbs, a real steal!! My coin is from an Old Irish Collection. This coin is most likely the #1 Cond.Censis for this Rare variety and is not weak on the right obverse seen on most other specimens. Should grade AU50. Est. Pop.7-12!
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 1: See description under BB-11. Now always weakly struck on the right.
Obverse die used to strike 1795 BB-11, BB-12, and BB-13.
REVERSE B: Two leaves under each wing. 19 berries, nine on left branch, 10 on right. Differs from any other 19-berry reverse, as follows: Two berries in wreath under A in STATES, the one on inside of wreath under center of A, and the one on outside of wreath under left corner of right foot of A. Only one berry in wreath under OF, and it is on the inside of wreath. Two berries, one inside of wreath, and one outside, are close together under first S in STATES, and two more close together under first A in AMERICA.
Reverse die used to strike 1795 BB-12 only.
Pie State I: Perfect dies. Obverse weakly struck on the right side.
AUCTION POPULATION SURVEY: Fine: 1, Very Fine: 4, Extremely Fine: 2. Total: 7.
COLLECTING NOTES: 1795 BB-12 is one of the famous rarities in the 1795 Flowing Hair series. Probably, somewhere between 20 and 35 exist, all of which may be in circulated grades. I am not aware of any Mint State examples, or even an AU. All known specimens of the 1795 BB-12 silver dollar show significant weakness of strike at the right obverse.
My rarity estimate is tenuous for this variety. Douglas Winter suggests a population of six to 10.
Haseltine's specimen was only Good, and scratched in field, the only one he could find/Thus it is no wonder that in his 1881 Type-Table, he called it "excessively rare."
Wyatt Specimen. EF-40 Superior, 1985: 2005. "EF-45, mostly well struck except for some weakness around a portion of the borders (these only affect the denticles); attractive light rainbow tone, surfaces quite lustrous."
H.W. Blevins Collection, Superior, 1988: 3593, EF-40. Yolanda Gross Collection.
Willasch Specimen. VF-30. Superior, H. Roland Willasch Collection, 1990: 449. "Dark sunset toning and well struck along' the right side perimeter. A few minor rim marks, both on the obverse and reverse, are the only signs of handling."
Ivy Specimen. VF-25 Steve Ivy, December 1979: 793
Earle Specimen. VF-20 The George H. Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 1912). M.H. Bolender Collection, Bolender, 1952: 13, VF; K. P. Austin. AJ. Ostheimer, 3rd . 1975 ANA Convention Sale, Superior: 806.
Spies Specimen. F-15. Stack's, 1974: 14: "Perfect but for one old small reverse edge ding."
CONDITION CENSUS: 45-40-40-30-30-20 (multiples)
Dr. Hesselgesser Collection - Goldbergs 9/5/2011:5002, $80,500