B-7,BB-156. Hard to find in high grade with a decent strike! This is the best one over the last 6 years! R4-5 Est.Pop.100-200 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 4: Light "waves" (die clash marks) appear at top of date between two 9's, and to right, from the tops of the clouds in the reverse die. Letters in LIBERTY close. First star appears small and thin. "Pocket" (as Bolender calls it) or "cobweb" clash mark (from eagle's wing in the reverse die) under throat of Liberty shows on BB-156, BB-157, and BB-162, not always well defined, The closest star is star 8 which is slightly closer to Y, than 7th star is to L. First star slightly farther from curl than last star is from bust.
In the marriage to this reverse die, the top of the 1 in the date is refinished and straight cut. A "pocket" or "cobweb" is at the throat, from die clashing with the eagle's wing in the reverse die. There are also subtle traces of die clash "waves" at top of date, especially to the right of-the second 9, from the tops of the clouds in the reverse die.
Obverse die used to strike 1799 BB-156 (with clash marks), BB-157, BB-161 (now relapped), BB-162, BB-163, and BB-164.
REVERSE G: Point of star touches point of upper part of eagle's beak; ray points to right edge of B in PLURIBUS. First A in AMERICA touches third feather only. Leaf points near center of upright of I in AMERICA. Clouds 1, 7 and 8 have stars penetrating into them; other clouds have stars exceedingly close or touching. Far right edge of A is over cloud 3.
Reverse die used to strike 1799 BB-156 only.
Die State I: Early state of the dies as described by Bolender, above. Obverse without cracks. Reverse without cracks. Scarce.
Die State II: Obverse as above. Reverse with hairline crack, hardly noticeable, through bottoms of RICA to stem. The die state usually seen.
Die State III: Bolender-7a. Obverse as above. Reverse now with encircling cracks, taking this path: Bottoms of RICA, through stem, eagle's tail, bottom two arrow feathers, lower part of UNITED, wing tip, to upper part of Sand and T; new crack commences from middle of S, through center of T, to A, upward through A, through top of T, to border; new crack connects bottoms of ATE, goes upward through S, through upper left of S, to border; this crack connects with crack at bottom of S, touching cloud 7, splitting, and continuing, now somewhat indistinctly, through cloud 8, to wing, and downward in wing; another crack from border through top of OF, to wing tip, downward, through bottoms of AME, to join up with the RICA crack, to complete the circle. The reverse is bulged above the eagle's head. Die state significantly scarcer than the preceding. Cf. Gilhousen (Superior, 1973):1253, later 1975 ANA Convention Sale (Superior):923, VF.
COLLECTING NOTES: VF and even EF coins are seen with frequency, but higher grades are virtually non-existent. I estimate that 275 to 500 exist totally, a figure which may not include any Mint State Coins.
Hollinbeck-Kagin Specimen. AU-58. Hollinbeck-Kagin Sale, August 1970:1086. "Virtually Unc., only barest friction, lovely golden patina."
ANA Convention Sale Specimen. AU-50. Kagin's, ANA Convention Sale, 1977:1764. "Details suggest AU, or even higher, but signs of an old cleaning, now pleasantly mellowed, full stars and all the hair detail. Toned to a rich green and gray." Bebee's. AU-50. Numismatist advertisement, May 1953. AU.
Bebee's Specimen. EF-45. Bowers and Merena, Aubrey and Adeline Bebee Collection, 1987:407. "Partially prooflike surface. Sharply struck. Much original mint lustre remains in protected areas of the coin's surface. Light golden toning." . Bowers and Merena Galleries, Lloyd M. Higgins, M.D. Collection 1988: 2312. "Partially prooflike surfaces. Sharply struck. Much original mint lustre remains in the protected areas of the coin's surface. Light golden toning."
Four Landmark Collections Specimen. EF-45. Bowers and Merena, Four Landmark Collections Sale, 1989:1963. "Deep silver gray specimen whose toning is uniform on both sides. Mint lustre remaining in the protected areas of the reverse. Late state of the reverse die, the entire center appearing to bulge (actually, sinking in the die), and the die further broken through the bases of most of the letters in the peripheral legend."