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1799 Draped Bust Dollar

Stars 8x5


Variety BB-159, B-23 - PCGS MS64

  Obverse: Variety BB-159, B-23 - PCGS MS64

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Reverse: Variety BB-159, B-23 - PCGS MS64

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A true peculiarity among early dollars, the BB-159 variety represents the one and only variety in which the obverse stars are arranged with 8 to the left of Liberty and 5 to the right.  Historically labeled the "5 Stars Facing" variety, its distinctiveness have made it enormously recognizable and popular.

As a variety, BB-159 is quite scarce, especially in top grades, but it is not particularly rare.  However, as a distinctive TYPE, it becomes extraordinarily rare when measured relative to the thriving demand from collectors who wish to possess one.  Most specimens seen, even in AU grades, exhibit rather weak strikes in Liberty's central hair details and/or bluntness in the obverse stars.  Many also appear to display weak luster and relatively drab toning; all of which makes this variety inordinately challenging to locate in choice grades.

The Cardinal Collection specimen, traces its provenance to Virgil Brand, B.G. Johnson, T. James Clarke, and Harold S. Bareford.  At MS64, it represents the single finest known, easily eclipsing the nearest specimen by 3 points (the NGC-MS61 specimen residing in the Warren Miller collection, earlier from the FCC Boyd collection).

Magnificently struck, the coin displays fully prooflike fields and astounding devices.  In its earlier auction appearances, Stack's described this coin as a "cameo-like Gem; wholly prooflike," and John J. Ford described it as having "magnificent, mirror surfaces in blue, rose and steel."  Ford later summed up its importance by stating "We can only apologize for not accepting unlimited bids!"


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