Handsome Mid-Grade 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Dollar

​Looking through the many rarities to be offered in our August 2016 Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Anaheim can be overwhelming. Impressive rarities, top-pop issues, and even unique pieces are all well represented, and the consignment deadline is still nearly a month away!  Though these pieces are magnificent, I am also always on the lookout for another type of material—original, well-circulated early U.S. coinage that has somehow escaped the "improvements" of past collectors as well as the harsh realities of time. There are certainly others who seek the same, and who know that unadulterated early U.S. coins are difficult to come by and, for some issues, nearly impossible to find. When found, they are usually held for quite a long while, contributing to the dearth of coins available and adding to market pressure. Further, when originality is combined with an already scarce type, the desirability is enhanced. Such is the case with the 1797 Draped Bust dollar I present here.

This delightful example is graded by PCGS as "only" VF-25, but is immediately identifiable as a premium example for the grade and a CAC green sticker lends credence to that fact. The strike is well centered and the definition is bold at this advanced die state. What really stands out are smooth and lovely dove gray surfaces. All in all, this is a wholly satisfying example, one that would fit seamlessly into a circulated type set of early Federal coins. It is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect well-circulated Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar.

Early silver dollars are widely collected and very popular in all grades, but the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type of 1795-1798 may be the scarcest of the group. Adding interest, the Guide Book lists three distinct varieties for the 1797 dollar, each corresponding to the three known die marriages. The example here, BB-73, is easily attributable with the obverse stars arranged nine left, seven right, and with large letters in the reverse legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. With type collectors, date collectors, and variety collectors all interested, we anticipate plenty of interest and strong bidding on this CAC-verified early dollar.

This important piece will be presented alongside numerous other treasures in our August 2016 Anaheim, California ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction. To consign your coins to this showcase event, please contact our offices today at 1-800-458-4646 to speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers Galleries can do for you.


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