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1796 Draped Bust Dollar

Large Date, Small Letters


Variety BB-65, B-5 - PCGS MS62

  Obverse: Variety BB-65, B-5 - PCGS MS62

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Reverse: Variety BB-65, B-5 - PCGS MS62

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The third sub-type, 1796 dollars of the large date/small letters type fall in between the other two in terms of availability -- distinctly more available than the small date/small letters coins, but noticeably tougher than the small date/large letters pieces.  Nonetheless, in an absolute sense, these 1796 dollars are very scarce overall, especially in top grades.

As with the BB-61 small date/large letters variety, the dies used for this BB-65 variety received their first use (and in this case, their only use).  So, one would think the fresh dies would impart strong details to their newly minted coins.  Unfortunately, it seems that the central devices for these particular dies were not punched in very deeply, for the resulting coins show a distinctly flatter relief than other varieties.  Consequently, high grade specimens show excellent detail, but circulation quickly removed those details from the others.

The Cardinal Collection specimen ranks as the single finest 1796 dollar ever graded by PCGS, and the second finest overall (exceeded by just a single MS-63 graded by NGC).

Very well struck throughout, the Cardinal specimen displays all of Liberty's hair strands fully raised (though still in low relief), rounded and separated, all but stars 2 and 3 full and complete to their pointed centers, and full feathers through the eagle's entire body, breast and legs.  Slight weakness shows on stars 2 and 3, and a die cud appears between the I and C in AMERICA, as diagnostic for this later die state of the variety.  The surfaces are lightly toned in shades of gray and golden-brown, with a soft satiny luster shimmering from within.


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