US Coins

NGC certifies fourth known example of early silver dollar variety

Only the fourth known example of the BB-16, B-20 die marriage of 1795 Flowing Hair dollar is newly authenticated by NGC, which graded it Fine Details, Cleaned.

All images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The fourth known example of a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar die marriage has been authenticated and graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The BB-16, B-20 1795 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves dollar was certified Fine Details, Cleaned.

NGC officials indicate the newly discovered coin was submitted to NGC by Collector’s Palace of Streetsboro, Ohio, on behalf of its collector owner. Both parties were informed of its rarity, but no plans for the coin have been announced, according to NGC.

The BB-16 attribution references Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers, edited by Mark Borckardt, first published in 1993 and updated in 2013. B-16 is an attribution from author Milferd Bolender’s 1950 reference, United States Early Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803, updated in 1999 in numismatist Jules Reiver’s book by the same name.

Flowing Hair dollars dated 1794 and 1795 were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The 1795 output yielded 19 die marriages from 10 obverse dies and 11 reverse dies.

The obverse die used to execute the BB-16, B-20 die marriage features the so-called Head of 1794, with Liberty’s cheek in slightly higher relief than on the Head of 1795 and with a more rounded contour to the point of her bust. This same die was subsequently paired with two other reverses, marriages BB-17 and BB-18. The reverse die for this marriage was previously paired with another obverse in marriage BB-15.

“It is interesting to note that of the four die marriages related in some way to this pairing, all but BB-18 are rare, according to NGC.

NGC’s director of numismatic research, David W. Lange, says, “Easily the most satisfying part of my job with NGC is attributing varieties. Sadly, most customers neglect to request our VarietyPlus service when submitting early United States coins, so some potential rarities may go out the door with just a grade. Fortunately, that was not the case here.”

Of the three other examples known of the BB-16, B-20 marriage, the Very Fine 35 and Fine 12 examples are graded by Professional Coin Grading Service.

The F-12 used to be NGC Very Good 10, but it was crossed into a PCGS holder.The remaining example was graded by Numismatic Conservation Services (an NGC affiliate that formerly graded coins) as Very Fine Details – Holed, Damaged. It is part of a Heritage Auctions sale that was scheduled to end Jan. 22. As of 10:20 a.m. EST Jan. 21, the bidding was at $6,500.

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