1803 $1 MS63 SMALL 3 PCGS
Lot 173
1803 $1 MS63 SMALL 3 PCGS
US$ 100,000 - 120,000
£75,000 - 90,000

Coins and Medals

11 Dec 2017, 13:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
1803 $1 MS63 SMALL 3 PCGS
1803 $1 MS63 SMALL 3 PCGS
B-5, BB-252, R.2. This exceptional Draped Bust dollar is among the finest of the Small 3 variety dollars extant. In the early 1800s in America there is no record of any numismatist collecting current gold and silver coins. Any that survive today were saved either by chance, rather than by strategy, or found their way to Europe where numismatics was a very active pursuit. We are, of course, happy that the present specimen came down through the centuries as sparkling and pristine as it has. Though called Rarity-2 across the board, that number probably applies to circulated examples of the variety, as it is certainly much rarer in Mint State than the R.2 listing indicates. There are not many Mint State Draped Bust dollars of any date to go around, especially given the demand for such pieces. Select Mint State early dollars tend to gravitate toward advanced collections and remain there for respectable amounts of time. PCGS Population: 2 in 63, only 2 are finer, both MS64s.

Previously offered in the October 2014 Stack's Bowers sale where it was accurately described as, "The fully original surfaces display somewhat mottled deep olive, cobalt-blue, and reddish-apricot iridescence that is boldest around the peripheries. The satiny luster is full, smooth and highly appealing, and with a bold strike, there is much to recommend this coin to the advanced type collector or early dollar specialist."

Note: 1803-dated dollars were the last produced during the early 19th century. By this time it had become profitable to export or melt newly-minted silver dollars, and the continued production of them would have been an exercise in futility. Had it not been for this factor, coinage might have continued for many years. The existence of so many worn early dollars of the 1794-1803 span is evidence of their success in domestic channels of commerce (other dollar-sized coins, notably the Spanish-American issues, circulated very effectively as well). After the end of the Draped Bust obverse, Heraldic Eagle reverse coinage, the center of attention focused on the half dollar as the largest circulating silver coin, a situation the denomination filled for the better part of three decades. (PCGS 6900 / 40097)
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