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DRAPED BUST DOLLARS (1795-1804)
1795 Silver Dollar

 

Draped Bust, Small Eagle (1795-1798)

Scot’s Draped Bust, Small Eagle Silver Dollar 1795-1798. The Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar was made from 1795 to 1798. The design shows a draped bust of Liberty in profile facing right with her hair tied with a ribbon. Above is the word LIBERTY, and below is the date. Various combinations of stars were to the left and right of Liberty including 10 left and 6 right, 9 left and 7 right, 15 stars and 13 stars on the obverse. The portrait on the Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar, taken from a drawing by the famous artist Gilbert Stuart, is of Ann Bingham. John Eckstein translated this drawing to models for Engraver Robert Scot. Evidently Eckstein lost many of the nuances, which might explain why Stuart’s family would not acknowledge his role in the coinage design. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar coin. The edge is lettered HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with ornamentation between the words. For the first three years of the Draped Bust dollar, the small eagle reverse similar to the prior design was used. It shows a small, unrealistic eagle poised to fly standing on a rock. Around the eagle is a wreath of laurel on the left and palm on the right. A ribbon ties the ends of the wreath together. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircles the design.

Thomas Jefferson chose Robert Scot to be the first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23, 1793. During the Revolution, he had been an engraver of paper money. His ability to make dies was limited, and he was advanced in years with failing eyesight. His work was poorer in quality than that done in Europe at the time, and Scot was criticized for it.

The Mint Director, Henry William DeSaussure, wished to place gold coinage in circulation and to improve the design of the other denominations especially silver. This desire is the reason he engaged Gilbert Stuart to submit a drawing for the new dollar obverse. In 1795 DeSaussure resigned his position because of illness and hostility from Congress. Many of the lawmakers wanted to abolish the Mint and continue the practice of using copper coins made at British token factories and foreign silver and gold coins. Elias Boudinot became the Mint Director after DeSaussure.

The Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar has several varieties. In 1795 there were Off-Center and Centered Bust. The next year saw three varieties of Small Date and Small Letters; Small Date and Large Letters; and Large Date and Small Letters. In 1797, there was one issue with 10 Stars Left and 6 Right; another with 9 Stars Left and 7 Right with Large Letters; and 9 Stars Left and 7 Right with Small Letters. The last year, 1798, had an issue with 15 Obverse Stars and another with 13 Obverse Stars.

The 1796 dollar has fifteen stars on the obverse; however, on June 1, 1796 Tennessee was admitted to the Union. It was the sixteenth state and should have had a star marking its statehood. The star was added in 1797, which suggests that all of the 1796 dies were made earlier in the year before Tennessee was admitted.

Specifications:
Weight: 26.96 grams
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Diameter: 39-40 millimeters
Edge: Lettered HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with decorative design between words.

DATE NOTES
1795 Silver Dollar Be sure to check out the Flowing Hair type for this date.
1796 Silver Dollar 1796 Early Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1797 Silver Dollar PCGS shows 456 coins certified in all grades. In AU50 there are 17 with 26 better. 1797 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1798 Silver Dollar 13 stars on the obverse. 1798 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>

Draped Bust, Large Eagle (1798-1804)
1798 Silver Dollar

Scot’s Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Silver Dollar 1798-1804. The Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle sliver dollar was made from 1798 to 1804. The design shows a draped bust of Liberty in profile facing right. Above is LIBERTY, and below is the date. Seven six-pointed stars are to the left and six are to the right. The portrait on the obverse of the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle silver dollar, taken from a drawing by the famous artist Gilbert Stuart, is of Ann Bingham. John Eckstein translated this drawing to models for Engraver Robert Scot. Evidently Eckstein made the models poorly, which might explain why Stuart’s family refused to acknowledge his role in the coinage design. The heraldic eagle reverse shows the eagle with up stretched wings and a Union shield on its breast. A banner inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM curls across the left wing and under the right. Except for the wing tips, the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc near the periphery. Thirteen stars are above the eagle’s head under the clouds in an arc pattern. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle silver dollar coin. The edge is lettered HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with ornamentation between the words.

In what some have called colossal design blunder, Robert Scot placed the arrows in the wrong talon. On the left side, the eagle’s right talon, arrows symbolize aggressive militarism. They should have been placed in the left talon with the olive branch in the right. If this rearrangement was unintentional, it shows a new, inexperienced country that can’t even get its symbolism correct. If this was a deliberate rearrangement, it shows a young country taking an aggressive stance during a time of conflict. In 1799 the country was engaged with France in an undeclared naval war. Perhaps this symbolism was being used to make a statement to France and others about the sovereignty of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson chose Robert Scot to be the first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23, 1793. During the Revolution, he had been an engraver of paper money. His ability to make dies was limited, and he was advanced in years with failing eyesight. His work was poorer in quality than that done in Europe at the time, and Scot was criticized for it.

The Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle sliver dollar has several varieties, restrike proof rarities, and one famous, extreme rarity, the 1804 Silver Dollar. Red Book varieties include for 1798 Knob 9 with 4 and 5 Vertical Lines; Knob 9 with 10 Arrows; Pointed 9 with Close and Wide Date; Pointed 9 with 5 Vertical Lines; Pointed 9 with 10 Arrows; and Pointed 9 with 4 Berries. The two earliest reverse dies have 5 Vertical Lines in the shield. Afterwards they all have 4 Vertical Lines. The next year, 1799, had overdates with 15 and 13 Star reverses; Irregular Dates with 15 and 13 Star reverses; a normal date, and an obverse with 8 Stars Left and 5 Right. The varieties of 1800 include a Very Wide Date with a Low 8; a “Dotted Date,” which was the result of die breaks; a reverse with Only 12 Arrows; and an inscription AMERICAI, which researchers speculate resulted from a stray punch or piece of metal struck into the die. Two overdates were seen in 1802, Narrow and Wide Dates; there was a Narrow Normal Date; and a Wide Normal Date. The last regular mintage was in 1803. That year had Small and Large 3’s in the date. The 1804 dollar was made from new dies in 1834 as a presentation piece. In 1859 additional pieces were struck. They were made in proof format. Between 1858 and the 1870’s, proof dollars were struck with the dates 1801, 1802, and 1803. These were sold secretly in the numismatic market. They are known as “Proof restrikes” and all are rare.

Specifications:
Weight: 26.96 grams
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Diameter: 39-40 millimeters
Edge: Lettered HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with decorative design between words.

DATE NOTES
1798 Silver Dollar 15 stars on the obverse.
1799 Silver Dollar Numerous varieties, including 13 or 15 stars on the reverse and 1799/8 overdates. 1799 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1800 Silver Dollar Numerous varieties. 1800 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1801 Silver Dollar The Proofs were struck sometime between 1834 and 1858 and are extremely rare. 1801 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1802 Silver Dollar The 1802/1 overdate is a popular variety. The Proofs were struck sometime between 1834 and 1858 and are extremely rare.
1803 Silver Dollar The Proofs were struck sometime between 1834 and 1858 and are extremely rare. 1803 Silver Dollar for Sale >>>
1804 Silver Dollar An extreme rarity! These were all made in 1834 and subsequent years. Mint reports show a mintage figure of 19,570, but these are believed to be Dollars dated 1803.


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