1798 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Large Eagle. B-5, BB-93. Rarity-6. Bowers Die State III. Knob 9, 4 Vertical Lines. VF-30 (PCGS).
A rare die pairing that is seldom offered and always in strong demand. The strike is sharp for this issue, with bold curls on Liberty and the eagle. Of course what makes this variety so spectacular is the dramatic die crack on the reverse which splits that side through the right third of the coin, past the final S of STATES down along the shield border to the the claw below. A massive failure that occurred very early in the reverse dies life as perhaps one are two are known without this die crack. Not many were struck beyond that point as the reverse die literally and obviously was falling apart. Another section of die has become loose joining the main crack to the left of the eagle's claw to the rim below, and this likely caused the dies retirement. The Condition Census for this variety is 55, 53, 45, 40, 30, 20 with a few others likely known but not reported. Those listed are all in advanced variety collections save for the current offering, and not likely to be available unless a major Bust dollar variety collection crosses the auction block. This coin was last auction in 1968 and traded privately once since that time. Identifiable by a tiny planchet flaw above the first S of STATES and used for the Bolender (reverse) and Reiver plate coin for the variety.
Pedigree: Ex: Colonel E.H.R. Green; Alfred J. and Jacque Ostheimer; Lester Merkin's sale of September 18, 1968, lot 248; Jules Reiver; Jim Matthews privately. The Bolender (reverse only) and Reiver plate coin for the B-5 variety. Old paper envelope included.