NGC Certifies Miller Collection of Early Dollars
Posted on 12/1/2002
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is pleased to announce that it has certified the superb collection of early United States silver dollars assembled by Dr. Warren V. Miller. Comprised of no less than 153 coins, this collection is without peer for both rarity and completeness.
Nearly every known variety is represented in Dr. Miller's set, and NGC has attributed each of his coins by Bowers/Borckardt numbers (Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia). NGC's Research Director, David W. Lange, was delighted that Miller selected NGC to showcase his fine collection. "Seeing so many rare varieties side by side is a wonderful learning opportunity," Lange noted. "Though NGC has attributed and graded a large number of early dollars in recent years, some of the scarcer varieties are appearing in our Census Report for the first time courtesy of the Miller Collection."
Among the outstanding rarities featured in this assemblage is 1795 Flowing Hair variety BB-16 (Bolender-20). The Miller specimen is believed to be the finest of just three known, and NGC certified it as VG-10. Another rare Flowing Hair variety is BB-28, discovered just a few years ago and unique to the Miller Collection. It too grades NGC VG-10. The rare 1794 silver dollar, of which just a single variety is known, is represented in this collection by the famed Walter H. Childs specimen, which NGC graded XF-40. Easily the centerpiece of the Miller Collection is his specimen, ex Eliasberg, of the unique BB-17 (B-18). NGC graded this magnificent coin an impressive AU-58.
The two rarest varieties of the Draped Bust silver dollar are BB-62 (B-3) and BB-64 (B-6). Both are found within the Miller Collection, the former certified by NGC as VF-25 and the latter grading VF-35. The exact number of BB-62 silver dollars in existence was uncertain when the Bowers/Borckardt encyclopedia was published in 1993, but the Miller coin is now believed to be unique. BB-64 is distinctive for its dramatically shattered reverse die, and Dr. Miller's coin is the finest of just three examples known.
Among Draped Bust dollars having the Heraldic Eagle reverse, the three rarest varieties (BB-253/B-2 likely does not exist) are all represented within the Miller Collection. BB-91 (B-32) is represented by a VF-30 example, making it among the finer pieces known. Fewer than ten survivors are known of BB-103 (B-18), and Miller's coin has been graded G-6 by NGC. His BB-117 (B-33) is one of just three pieces known and the finest of the late die state having a bisecting crack across the reverse.
Dr. Miller was very pleased with the company's handling of his collection: "NGC clearly appreciated the quality of these coins. The originality of their surfaces appeals to me, and I believe that they likewise took this into consideration."
Outstanding condition rarities within the Miller Collection include examples of BB-73 (B-1) and BB-94 (B-3), both certified by NGC as MS-63. BB-158 (B-16), though one of the more common varieties, is represented in the Miller Collection by a nearly gem MS-64 specimen.
A true collector, Warren Miller acquired a number of remarkable error coins, too. These include off-centered and double-struck pieces. Flipover double strikes, among the most desired of mint error types, are also found within this comprehensive set of dollars.
Speaking on behalf of NGC's grading team, Chairman and CEO Mark Salzberg added, "It was quite an opportunity to examine so many early dollars at one time. There are subtleties to these coins that are best appreciated when seen together. I'm very pleased that Warren Miller entrusted NGC with his collection. It was a gratifying experience for everyone involved."
Dr. Miller's advisor in assembling this collection has been coin dealer Jess Lipka of New Jersey. "Perhaps the highest honor of my numismatic career has been the opportunity to assist Dr. Miller with the formation of this fabulous collection" Lipka said. "No museum or collector in all history has assembled as many different varieties. This assemblage must be seen to be believed."
It will be seen, as the Dr. Warren Miller Collection of early United States silver dollars will be on display at NGC's table during the January 9-12 convention and coin show of the Florida United Numismatists in Orlando. A complete listing of these coins appears in NGC's online census at www.NGCcoin.com, and they will be included in the January edition of NGC's hardcopy Census Report. A copy of this report may be ordered for $25, postpaid. An annual subscription to this quarterly report is $80, postpaid.