Coin Specifications

Category: Early Dollars (1794-1804)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 42,738
Catalog: KM-18
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 26.9600g
ASW: 0.7731oz
Melt Value: $11.04 (11/26/2015)
Diameter: 39-40mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1795 DRAPED BUST S$1 MS obverse 1795 DRAPED BUST S$1 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

1795 $1 Draped Bust, Centered MS65 PCGS. B-15, BB-52. R.2. The Draped Bust, Small Eagle reverse dollars of 1795 come in two varieties. It is widely believed that the 1795 B-14, BB-51 dollar with Liberty placed too far to the left was struck prior to the slightly more aesthetically pleasing centered bust die.

In his November 1881 Type Table sale catalog, John W. Haseltine termed this obverse die, 'fillet head, well centered.' When Bolender published his book The United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803 he called this die, 'fillet bust.' For more than 50 years many dealers and collectors referred to the 1795 Draped Bust, Small Eagle reverse dollars in this manner (the fillet meaning ribbon, and referring to the ribbon which is tied at the back of Liberty's hair). Both in the past and present, the 1795 Draped Bust, Centered dollar represents an important type coin for anyone interested in early United States silver dollars, 1794-1803.

The earliest dollars struck and dated 1795 are known by most collectors today as 'Flowing Hair Dollars.' The Flowing Hair design was eventually replaced by the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type. According to Walter Breen, 'This new design represented the fulfillment of a dream for the new Mint Director, Henry William DeSaussure. On his accession, he had named his two ambitions: to place gold coinage into circulation, and to improve the design of all denominations, particularly of silver coins. To this purpose, he engaged the illustrious portraitist Gilbert Stuart, who submitted a drawing of Mrs. William Bingham (the former Ann Willing) as Ms. Liberty.' Breen further notes that John Eckstein, an artist, translated this drawing into 'models' (perhaps in plaster as Bowers later noted) for Mint Engraver Robert Scot. Eckstein received $30.00 on September 9, 1795, for his two 'models.' Breen postulates that the second of these is likely to have been the small eagle on clouds.

Bowers noted in his Silver Dollars of the United States regarding the Draped Bust, Small Eagle dies, 'The obverse portrait punch is of high quality and is superbly engraved, with a wealth of minute detail. Whoever made it, Robert Scot or John Eckstein, was extremely skilled. The reverse punch of the Small Eagle on billowy clouds is likewise superbly done. The wreath is sophisticated as well. The left side of the wreath, with olive leaves, bears a stylistic resemblance to the Three Leaves wreath, as the individual leaf elements are similar in appearance, with raised or outlined edges.'

It is likely that the 1795 Draped Bust dollars were first struck in October 1795. The Draped Bust, Centered dollar is much rarer in Mint State than its counterpart with Liberty placed to the left. When his book was published in 1993, Bowers listed 20 'Notable Specimens' of 1795 B-14, BB-51, ranging in grade from MS63 to MS66. By contrast, only six specimens of 1795 B-15, BB-52 were included in grades ranging from MS63 to MS65. Only three of these six were graded MS64 or higher and only one of these reached an MS65 grade, the 'R. Tettenhorst Specimen. MS.65 PL' (which is likely the plate coin in the Bowers book, page 224).

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/26/2015

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Base $ 1440 2250 3880 5340 10000 17000 18250 21500 30000 56000 80000 145000 170000 405000 568750 - - - -
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Total Graded: 420
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

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Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(3), 1227/Lot# 4456

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

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Sale / Lot
2/12/2007 NGC XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 126, 131/Lot# 1046 $8,970.00
4/16/2008 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2008 April Rosemont, IL (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #1104, 1104/Lot# 2007 $37,375.00
4/16/2008 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2008 April Rosemont, IL (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #1104, 1104/Lot# 2333 $12,650.00
12/13/2010 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 2977, 2977/Lot# 1309 $9,660.00
5/29/2011 PCGS AU 50   Goldberg May 29 - June 1, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction of US, World Coins and Currency, 63/Lot# 881 $21,850.00
8/11/2011 NGC Details G Details  Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(6), 1158/Lot# 10684 $863.65
10/12/2014 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 186359 $14,750.00
7/17/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 4442 $2,585.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1795 DRAPED BUST S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 5577
Owner: Durango Collection
Grade: AU 53
Points: 5094
Owner: BillJones
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