US Coins

Least expensive early dollar sold at FUN damaged but handsome

Despite damage, this 1799 Draped Bust dollar with Very Good details is not unattractive, especially considering the reasonable $587.50 that it sold for on Jan. 11.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Heritage’s U.S. coin auctions at the Florida United Numismatists show in Orlando took place between Jan. 7 and 12. With more than 8,000 lots totaling in excess of $70 million crossing hands, the vast scope of these sales meant that many series were presented in depth.

For example, more than 120 early dollars of the Flowing Hair (1794 to 1795) and Draped Bust (1795 to 1804) types were offered. Although no 1804 Draped Bust dollar was in the mix, many early silver dollars were sold at affordable price points, even though the concept of affordability is all relative. 

Here is one of three Coin World is profiling:

The coin: 1799 Draped Bust dollar, Very Good details, Damaged

The price: $587.50

The story: Of the 126 Draped Bust and Flowing Hair silver dollars offered in Heritage’s various FUN auctions, this one — graded Very Good Details, Damage, by Professioinal Coin Grading Service was the least expensive, selling for $587.50. 

Considering the damage, which can be seen in the oddly textured center and surrounding fields, the piece retains a handsome dark steel-gray color and relatively even wear. 

Many collectors looking for an example of the Draped Bust dollar type look for one from the 18th century, with collectors often paying a slight premium for a 1799 example versus one from 1800, even through they’re of comparable rarity as a date.

The next three least-expensive Draped Bust dollars in the auctions were each graded Very Good Details, Cleaning, by PCGS and each brought $763.65. 

Keep reading this Market Analysis series:

Despite tooling, 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, a legendary U.S. rarity, sells for $64,625 at FUN show

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