Draped Bust Silver $1 PCGS MS61 Click on Coin Image to
Draped Bust Silver $1 PCGS MS61 - $37,250.
as a date that just doesn't present itself well. This
1801 specimen is well struck and solid for the grade.
In its population report, there is only 1 MS61. When
more collectors begin to focus on die varieties of
these early dollars, high grade, scarce pieces such
as the present coin will substantially increase in
This impressive Draped Bust
silver dollar has Sufficient detail is found on the
hair above the forehead, the hair over the ear, and
the lines of the drapery to support the grade. The
strike is especially strong, especially on the stars
above the eagle, which are often weak. For the grade,
the surfaces are particularly clean and pleasing.
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to reserve this great coin.
The coin was designed by Robert Scot,
whom Thomas Jefferson chose to be the first Chief
Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23,
1793. Scott was born in 1744 in Edinburgh, Scotland
or England. (Documentary evidence is lacking as to
where he was born.) He was trained as a watchmaker
in England and learned engraving afterwards. He moved
to the United States in 1777, where he worked as an
engraver of plates, bills of exchange, and office
scales. During the Revolution, he was an engraver
of paper money. In 1780 he was made the State Engraver
of Virginia. He moved to Philadelphia the next year.
He was appointed Chief Engraver of the United States
Mint on November 23, 1793 by David Rittenhouse, Mint
Director. His salary in 1795 was 1,200 per year.
The Mint Director received only $800
dollars per year more. Scot’s ability to make
dies was limited, and he was advanced in years with
failing eyesight. His work was somewhat less than
that done in Europe at the time, and Scot was criticized
for its poor quality. He was responsible for designs
of most of America’s first coins. These include
the Flowing Hair and the Draped Bust motifs used on
early sliver coins, and the gold quarter eagle, half
eagle and eagle. Scot also designed the 1794-1797
half cent, the 1800-1808 draped bust half cent, and
the Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal. Scot died
on November 1, 1823 and was succeeded by William Kneass
as Chief Engraver.
Researchers have questioned Scot’s placement
of the arrows and olive branch in the wrong talons
on the reverse of this type, which was taken from
The Great Seal of the United States. They should have
been reversed with the olive branch in the eagle’s
right claw. Perhaps Scot was told to change the symbolism
because the United States was engaged with France
in an undeclared naval war at the time this coin was
designed. This symbolism could have been used to make
a statement to France and others about the sovereignty
of the United States.
This specimen is identified as a BB-211. The obverse
of this die pairing has the distance from the 1 in
the date to the curl about the same as the distance
from the top of the Y to star 8. It is the Wide Date
variety with the most space between 180 and 01 closer
together. The reverse has the arrowhead under the
U in UNITED, which is diagnostic for the variety because
the reverse die was used to strike BB-211 only. The
point of the star almost touches the point of the
lower part of the eagle’s beak.