B-30,BB-116. Pointed nine, 4 vertical lines. Rare variety. Super tough in high grade - PCGS AU50 (CAC)! I bought this unsually toned coin in a raw state out of a superior auction in 2005. It seems to have apparently been wrapped in a newspaer and has print letters embossed on the coin from toning. These can be read by placing the coin up to a mirror. It appears to say, "drape", "Spec" and " turban". At the bottom on the neck the letters ST appear. This is one of my favorite coins plus being a rare BB-116 in a condition censis stateI I sent the coin initially to NGC where it received a AU53 BB-117! I was quite happy until I realized they had made a mistake - the coin was not the R8 BB-117 but was a BB-116. When I crossed my entire set to PCGS they DOWNGRADED it to an AU50. Alas no justice. Gorgeous multicolored rainbow toning. R4/5. Est.Pop. 60-100 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 13: See description under 1798 BB-113.
Obverse die used to strike BB-113 (1st use), 1798 BB-114 (2nd use), BB-115 (3rd use), BB-116 (4th use), BB-117 (5th use), BB-118 (6th use), BB-119 (7th and final use) .
REVERSE N: The upper stars on reverse are all very distant from clouds. Leaf points to space between R and I in AMERICA. Arc star pattern. Point of star barely touches upper part of eagle's beak (only three arc-pattern reverse dies, those used to coin BB-116, BB-117, and BB-125 have the ray at beak); ray of star points to upper outside right of B in PLURIBUS, while another ray points to the I. 13 arrows, two being faint. Five small berries, two at top nearest together.
Reverse die used to strike 1798 BB-116 only.
Die State I: Obverse: Cracks described under BB-115 are now bolder and more advanced. Crack through 9 bold and extends into bust. Small chip on denticle below this crack. A sawtooth-like line, probably clash marks from reverse denticles, is noted from top of LIBERTY through outer points of stars 8 and 9. Cf. Bowers and Merena, Frontenac Sale, 1991: 2209. Perfect reverse die.
Die State II: Obverse as preceding. Reverse with crack from right arm of T, through ED, to eagle's wing.
Die State III: Obverse as preceding. Reverse crack continues through clouds 1-3 to base of TE, bottom half of S, to rim just left of O. Reverse with additional crack from wing on left, above first U in PLURIBUS, through star on left to cloud 2.
Die State IV: Obverse as preceding. Reverse with additional cracks: Inside of border from right of D of UNITED, along border, through tip of wing, through tops of S and T, to above A. Light crack from rim through first A of AMERICA to feather. Crack from upper right of R through ICA, faintly to stem.
Die State V: On reverse, crack continues from stem end to rim. Crack from arrow feathers, middle of U of UNITED and bases of NITE. Short crack from center of eagle's tail feathers to denticles.
Die State VI: Bolender-30a. Reverse with crack at first A in AMERICA expanded to create a blob from top of A to border. Curiously, Bolender noted that he knew of just one coin, the VG specimen in his collection, but he called it R-6, implying that over a dozen exist.
COLLECTING NOTES: 1798 BB-116 is one of the scarcer varieties of the year. About 150 to 250 are believed to be known. Most coins are in VF or so grade. EF specimens are quite rare, and anything better is very rare. In his 1881 Type-Table, Haseltine called this variety very rare.
Newcomer Specimen. MS-60. Waldo C. Newcomer Collection. B. Max Mehl. Col. E.H.R. Green Collection.. New Netherlands 48th Sale, T. James Clarke Collection, 1956:625. "Pronounced obverse die breaks emanating at border directly below 9 of date. Rev. All upper stars distant from clouds. Uncirculated. Neatly defined borders; comparatively well struck. Minute obverse rim bruise at right; reverse field nick (in stars) near eagle's head. Lightly toned, rose-blue iridescence. An intermediate die state, reverse crack through TED to wing described by Bolender under his Bolender-30a, but lacks the other characteristics."
Krugjohann Specimen. AU-58 â€¢ Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, C. W. Krugjohann Collection, 1976:613. "BU with a touch of cabinet friction but absolutely no evidence of circulation. Full original lustre. Well struck. Lovely fields. Numerous die breaks (shattered dies)."
Emery-Nichols Specimen. AU-55. Bowers and Merena Galleries, Emery and Nichols Collections, 1984:935. "Iridescent toning on obverse commences at the periphery in shades of pale gold, turning to hues of blue and violet toward the center. Reverse toning is not quite as vivid, though multicolored shades do highlight the sharply struck and notably dean surfaces."
Rusbar Specimen. AU-55. Bowers and Merena Galleries, Robert W. Rusbar Collection, 1990:348. "A lovely satiny example toned in delightful pastel shades of gold and lilac gray. Most of the obverse design features are bold."
Baldenhofer Specimen. AU-50. W.G. Baldenhofer to Stack's, Farish-Baldenhofer Sale, 1955 â€¢ A.J. Ostheimer, 3rd Collection.• Superior Galleries, Gilhousen Sale, 1973:1244. "Fine double profile. Rainbow toned Uncirculated, lustrous and sharp." Superior Galleries, ANA Convention Sale, 1975:902. "Fine double profile. AU-50, slight rainbow toning, lustrous, sharp. Tiny rim bruise opposite 10th stars is mentioned mainly for identification purposes. Fairly well centered and has some signs of obverse handling."
Stack's Specimen. AU-50. Stack's, ANA Convention Sale, 1976:3451. "AU and lustrous. Purchased by the owner as Uncirculated, but there is too much of a rub on the eagle's breast and on the cheek to call it Mint State. Natural golden and iridescent toning." Yolanda Gross Collection.
Frontenac Specimen. AU-50. Numismatic Auctions of Florida. November, 1985:330. Bowers and Merena Galleries, Frontenac Collection, 1991:2209. "Particularly deeply struck, with the denticles and rims especially pronounced in most areas, most prominently around 2/3 of the reverse. Light gray and lilac toning."
Wayne Miller Collection
Dr. Hesselgesser Collection - Goldbergs 9/5/2011:5058, $8,337.50
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