Home Page

Prev. Coin

Next Coin

Featured Coin
1799 Draped Bust Dollar

Overdate, 15 Stars Reverse


Variety BB-141, B-3 - PCGS MS62

  Obverse: Variety BB-141, B-3 - PCGS MS62

Click Coin to Enlarge

Reverse: Variety BB-141, B-3 - PCGS MS62

Click Coin to Enlarge



Perhaps the single earliest obverse die used for the Year 1799 displays a date plainly showing the final "9" punched over top of a previously punched numeral "8."  Apparently, this obverse die had been prepared originally with the "1798" date, but was not used for coinage that year.  When dollar production commenced in 1799, Mint employees simply modified the die to show "1799," rather than scrapping it and making a completely new obverse die.  Traces of the original numeral "8" are quite visible, even to the unaided eye on this "overdate."

This overdate obverse die went on to be used with three separate reverse dies, the first of which displayed a curious pattern of 15 stars!  Clearly the Mint engraver lost track of what he was doing and punched in too many stars above the eagle's head.  When he noticed his error, he worked to cover up two of the stars -- by expanding the first and last clouds enormously.  However, large those clouds became, they still were insufficient, as the lower points of the errant stars are still visible.

As a result of these multiple blunders, the 1799/8 15 Star variety is immensely recognizable and hugely popular with collectors.  Fortunately for collectors, the variety is (relatively speaking) quite available, even in nice grades, so many collectors can enjoy them.

At MS62, the Cardinal Collection specimen falls well within the condition census.  Sharply struck throughout, the coin is lightly toned in shades of grade and gold, with frosty cartwheel luster in abundance.


Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation
E-Mail: mail@earlydollars.org
� 2005, by the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation
All rights reserved.