NCS Certifies Unique Silver Dollar

Posted on 5/2/2006


The only known example of a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar with die marraige BB-19, B-19, certified and encapsulated by NCS. Image NGC PhotoProof.

Numismatic Conservation Services has certified the only known example of a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar listed for years in both standard references for early dollars but not confirmed until now. This coin was struck from a marriage of two dies already known to variety specialists as being used separately for other marriages, but not until now did proof exist that this pair was actually used together.

This variety is listed in the 1993 silver dollar encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers and Mark Borckardt as variety BB-19, while the Milford Bolender book on early dollars and its 1999 update by Jules Reiver include it as number B-19. Both works note that a lone example of this die marriage was reportedly a part of the Frank Stirling collection, dispersed decades ago, but that no one in the current generation of silver dollar specialists had seen it.

This unique coin has been certified by NCS as BB-19 and B-19 and grades VG Details, Damaged. In the past it had been holed and repaired in the field to the right of Liberty’s portrait, and it has also suffered some gouges in the left obverse field. These issues mandated that the coin be certified by NCS instead of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, as NCS will certify coins that are genuine but that have surface problems making them ineligible for NGC grading. Aside from the damage described, this coin has very pleasing surfaces and attractive pewter gray toning throughout.

Another interesting feature of this coin is that it exhibits the silver center plug found on a number of Flowing Hair Silver Dollars. This plug was evidently inserted prior to striking for reasons unknown, though some numismatists have speculated that this was done either to bring an underweight planchet up to standard or as a device to make counterfeiting more difficult. Whatever the reason, this practice was evidently limited to a small percentage of half dollars and dollars dated 1794 and 1795, the latter date more often seen.

Both NCS and NGC will attribute early silver dollars (1794-1803) by Bowers/Borckardt (BB) and Bolender (B) variety numbers under the companies’ VarietyPlus service. For coins submitted raw (uncertified) or that have been certified by other grading services and are being submitted for Crossover to NCS or NGC, the fee for this service is just $7 in addition to the regular grading fee. Coins already certified by either NCS or NGC may have these variety attributions added under their Designation Review service at just $10, which includes the cost of reholdering.

NCS may be contacted by writing to P.O. Box 4750, Sarasota, FL 34230 or by calling toll-free at 866-NCS-COIN (627-2646). NCS’s email address is


The reverse of the unique 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar.

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