Overview: Draped Bust/Large Eagle Dollar Type, 1798-1803


During 1798, the silver dollar underwent another design change, this time to present the image of the United States as a stronger, more battle-ready nation.  With the Draped Bust Large Eagle Dollar type, the obverse continues with the same image of lady Liberty; however, the reverse is greatly re-designed to follow the Great Seal of the United States.  The reverse now depicts a larger "heraldic" eagle with a shield to its front and a ribbon in its beak bearing the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM."  The eagle's right foot (viewer's left) holds a grouping of arrows, while its left (viewer's right) holds an olive branch.  Above the eagle's head is an arc of seven clouds and an arrangement of 13 stars.  As with the earlier types, the denomination does not appear on either the obverse or reverse of the coin: it appears on the edge of the coin instead.

Draped Bust Large Eagle dollars were minted bearing the dates 1798 through 1803.  While dollars of each of these dates may generally be found with some effort, those dated 1799 were minted in the greatest quantity and so are generally the most readily available.  Therefore, the collector seeking a nice specimen of this type will typically select one dated in 1799.


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