Overview: 1802 Draped Bust Dollars


Continuing the trend from 1801, production of Draped Bust dollars dated 1802 was substantially less than the level of 1798 through 1800.  Only a small number of dies were needed, and the total mintage ultimately used 7 known different obverse dies and only 2 known different reverse dies.  These combined to create 7 different individual die varieties.   The Redbook categorizes these based on the appearance of the date - being either a normal or over date, and being either “wide” or “close” in spacing.

5 of the 7 obverse dies used for coinage in 1802 were, presumably, originally prepared in 1801, and, accordingly bore the 1801 date.  When these dies were placed into service, they were altered by punching the numeral “2” over top of the previously punched numeral “1.”  In this way, the Mint created an 1802/1 over date — similar to what had occurred with the 1799/8 over date dollars.  1802/1 over date dollars are found with widely spaced dates and with narrow or closely spaced dates.  Approximately 800 specimens remain of the 1802/1 wide date varieties, and around 700 specimens remain of the 1802/1 close date varieties.

The remaining 2 obverse dies of the year display a normal 1802 date, with no traces of any previously-punched digits beneath the date.  1802 normal date dollars are also found with widely spaced dates or closely spaced dates.  The 1802 wide date variety is very scarce, with only around 100 specimens remaining in existence.  The 1802 close date variety is relatively common (at least in comparison to other early dollars), with approximately 2,100 specimens remaining - including quite a few in higher grades.

1802/1 Over Date Wide Date

1802/1 Over Date Close Date

1802 Normal Wide Date

1802 Normal Close Date

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