B-15,BB-112, Pointed Tail 9. PCGS AU58 (CAC)! Typical weak strike centrally in both Obverse and Reverse. Lapped die state with smaller stars. Mottled golden toning and nice eye appeal for this variety. R3. Est.Pop.250-350 coins. In Top 3 CC.
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 12: Wide date, 11 mm. across at bottom widest part. 7th star very close to L, slightly closer than figure 1 of date from curl. Last star slightly nearer bust than figure 8 is from bust. Lowest right star ray points to a space between two denticles. The L and I in LIBERTY are distant while a spike protrudes from the hair below the point of the upper curl. Interior of lower curl is shaded. On the left, space between stars 5 and 6 is greater than between other stars. On the right, star 13 is smaller than any others.
Obverse die used to strike 1798 BB-112 only.
REVERSE K: See description under 1798 BB-110.
Reverse die used to strike 1798 BB-110 (1st use), BB-111 (2nd use), BB-112 (3rd use), and BB-113 (4th and final use).
Die State I: Obverse: Die perfect and not yet relapped. Reverse: Without cracks. See discussion of die states under 1798 BB-110. May not exist.
Die State II: Dies as usually seen; described above. Relapped obverse. Star 13 appears smaller than the others.
Die State III: Bolender-15a. Obverse as above. In 1950, Bolender said this: "From same dies as Bolender-15, but the stars appear smaller. Struck before the die was finished." However, today it is considered/to be a later state of the dies than the regular (Die State II) BB-112 issue. This variety is always weakly struck, with the centers especially so. Reverse with a crack from the left shield point to the ribbon.
Die State IV: As preceding, but now with additional reverse crack from the right top of the first T in STATES down to the second cloud (counting from the left).
COLLECTING NOTES: Several hundred specimens of 1798 BB-112 exist, probably about 250 to 450, placing it in the medium range of rarity among varieties of this date. Most specimens are in grades up through VF and EF. AU or finer pieces are very rare.
Gettys Specimen. MS-60. Loyd Gettys Collection. Bolender Collection, 1952. AJ. Ostheimer, 3rd Collection, Lester Merkin, 1968: 257. "Golden and dull violet toned Uncirculated, weak strike, the weakness in centers as usual. Early die state, the spine left of curl point plain."
Auction '87 Specimen. AU-50. Superior, 1987: 1814. "Obverse sharply struck with some lustre noted below pale rose toning; the reverse was struck well off-center and, as a result, the tops of UNITED and barely on the flan. It is lustrous and has nice light rose toning."
Boyd Specimen. AU-50. World's Greatest Collection, F.C.C. Boyd Numismatic Gallery, 1945:40. "Barely circulated with nice lustre." A.J. Ostheimer, 3rd Collection, Lester Merkin, 1968: 258. "Bolender-15a. Obverse drastically lapped, spine left of curl point gone, stars much smaller especially lower ones at left and right, curl near date hollow, etc.; looks like a different obverse. AU plus, golden toning concealing traces of old cleaning; much original mint frost."
Fairbanks Specimen. AU-50. Stack's, Fairbanks Collection, 1960:544. "AU with beautiful surfaces."
Newport Specimen. AU-50. Bowers and Ruddy, Newport Collection, 1975:382. "Beautiful AU with much original lustre. Lightly struck at upper center of reverse; otherwise quite sharp."
Kagin's 1961 Sale Specimen. EF-45. Kagin's September 18, 1961 sale, Lot 1095 as "Unc.". A.J. Ostheimer, 3rd. Superior, 1975 ANA Convention Sale:873. "EF45 obverse, but there are just too many obverse handling marks to qualify for AU; reverse fully AU-50. Well centered, struck, and lustrous."
Stack's 10/2005:1413, $34,500
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