1799 Draped Bust Dollar - Opinions?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by larssten, Jun 29, 2022.

  1. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member


    What do you all think of the photos of this 1799 Draped Bust dollar?

    To my eye it looks like a nice coin with good details, although with an earlier cleaning/dipping. Though the owner says it looks good with a natural look.

    The wear seems fine and I like the look of the eye. Think the reverse is a little more rough around the stars.

    I think I has probably been cleaned/dipped at some point, but probably not polished since I can’t see any polishing stripes. Easy to see in the holes of the letters how dark it used to look. Or what do you think?

    The current owner has graded it VG, but guess it would get a details grade. Perhaps F?

    Purchase recommendation at $1500?

    Any other comments or insights greatly appreciated

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
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  3. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I would suggest you would be more comfortable with pursuing a TPG/4PG example, which can be found for the comparable $ you state.

    I suspect you would be disappointed if this piece was submitted.

    I would not use this example as a type filler, either, to be clear.

    My opinion.
    tibor likes this.
  4. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  5. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    And in terms of a purchase decision comparing to this one? F Details.

    UncleScroge likes this.
  6. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    My opinion does not change, and not that it is important...I am simply curious....are you pursuing a specific date or 1799 Type?

    Is it your opinion the ungraded specimen and the NGC encapsulated specimen are the same, as to type/variety or value?
  7. Scott J

    Scott J Well-Known Member

    The graded coin definitely has more detail in the hair and especially on E. Pluribis Unum
  8. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    Yeah, agree. I think I like the graded one the best too. Better detail and like the toned surface better than the other.

    just in between deciding which is the best purchase.
  9. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    It’s a great date and a coin I would personally like to have but it would not straight grade. I see more detail in the slabbed Fair Details Improperly Cleaned coin so I feel it would receive a lower grade than Fine but it would still carry the Details Improperly Cleaned coin. I would not want this coin in my collection.
  10. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    Not really, but would be happy to add a 1799 dollar to the collection

    Not quite sure, but seems like the same variety. Guess the value on the graded one is a bit higher due to better technical quality…?
  11. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    OQUOTE="Collecting Nut, post: 8403745, member: 74863"]It’s a great date and a coin I would personally like to have but it would not straight grade. I see more detail in the slabbed Fair Details Improperly Cleaned coin so I feel it would receive a lower grade than Fine but it would still carry the Details Improperly Cleaned coin. I would not want this coin in my collection.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for your opinion! Think i agree with you there
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I think the raw coin in the OP looks nice, despite any old cleaning done.

    I can't speak to the price or make a purchase recommendation, but I do think it has more eye appeal than the graded coin shown in Post #4.
  13. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    9. Obverse stars. Reverse A,M,E,R,D.
  14. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    The OP's raw coin that he is considering purchasing looks to be the BB-155 die marriage. First thing to check re authenticity is the die marriage with any valuable older coin as the counterfeiters have made a bunch of these and often pair the wrong obverse and reverse dies. So, this raw coin looks genuine at least as far as possessing the correct die marriage.

    Further, this die marriage is one of the scarcer of the many 1799 die marriages. It appears to be pretty wholesome and the old cleaning doesn't look bad. While it's not quite as sharp as the NGC coin offered for comparison, the pit in the obverse right field of the slabbed coin is off-putting to me.

    I would not grade the raw coin better than VG-08, ignoring the old cleaning.

    PCGS lists this coin as $1125 in G-04 and $2300 in F-12. Greysheet specifically lists the BB-155 as $1000 in VG-08 and $1400 in F-12, which is the same pricing as more common die marriages. Note that these pricing guides are strictly for slabbed coins that are straight-graded. There should be a deduction in price for being raw and for being cleaned.

    I would not consider this raw, cleaned coin at $1500 to be a "good" deal even if you are willing to take a details coin with no authenticity guarantee.
  15. ksparrow

    ksparrow Coin Hoarder

    1500 seems steep to me. My raw one (which I think is about VG10, polished) has a bit more detail, I value at around 1,000 (not trying to hijack the thread)
    larssten and Eduard like this.
  16. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    Note obverse stars and 9 and reverse A,M,E,R AND D.
    Love the crack(s), and tailfeather trailing.
    Nice piece.
    UncleScroge and ksparrow like this.
  17. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    Ill take it off your hands for $1000 Send me a pm
  18. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    1799 is the most common year among the Bust Dollars. It is interesting to note that the dollar was the only silver coin the mint issued with the date 1799. I agree that the OP coin grades VG, and that it has been cleaned. It is attractive from the surviving details perspective. You might be shocked at what you will get from a coin that is graded Good.
    larssten likes this.
  19. larssten

    larssten Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comment John!
    What do you think of the slabbed NGC F details one?
  20. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm spoiled by having been around nice examples for so long. As a veteran collector, I know that the Bust Dollar is among the most common of the early silver coins.

    The first mint make coins from the silver and gold that the owners of those metal deposited there to be turned into coins at pretty much no charge. The depositors were able to choose which coins they got, and the coin of choice was the silver dollar. When the mint stopped making dollars in 1804, the next coin of choice was the half dollar. That's why half dollars are more common after 1804.

    The Bust Dollars didn't circulate that much, which why many of them have VF or better sharpness. The biggest problem comes from people cleaning and polishing them. I have owned this one for almost 40 years.

    1799 Dollar All.jpg

    To show you how grading standards have changed through the years, I bought this one from a collector I knew when I lived in Boston. We disagreed over the grade to set the selling price. He thought it was an AU. I graded it EF. He sent it to ANACS to decide. ANACS graded EF-45. I cracked it out of the ANACS holder and sent it to NGC circa 2000. They graded it AU-55.

    Before you fell sorry for the collector who sold it me, he told me he paid $15 for it back in his time! I paid him over $1,000 back in the 1980s.
    UncleScroge, -jeffB and jamor1960 like this.
  21. Mike Thornton

    Mike Thornton Learning something new everyday.

    For my money, the graded piece would be the choice. You know what your getting. The raw example looks to have been polished, to my eye. There appear to be parallel lines between E R to the second star. 1 o'clock to 2 o'clock on the obverse. If your OK with the cleaning, either would be nice to own. JMO.
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