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FUN Show purchases - 1798 Small Eagle Dollar

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I suppose it's time to start showing some FUN purchases. The first for me was this 1798 Small Eagle Reverse Bust Dollar with 13 stars on the obverse. This is the more common of the two varieties of 1798 dollars with the Small Eagle. This coin was well down on my want list, but when I saw this one I decided that it fit with the rest of the Bust dollars in my date set so I bought it. It is a VF-35 which makes it the lowest grade coin in the set, but it has original surfaces, AND it didn't cost me an arm and an leg, just the arm. ;)




According to Dave Bowers the mint struck all of its dollars during the first half of 1798 with back dated dies from 1795, '96 and '97. Just because the year had changed was no reason to discard a perfectly good die in those frugal times. Finally in early May, by Bowers' estimate, the first 1798 dated dollars were struck, and they had the old Small Eagle reverse. Later the Heraldic Eagle reverse coins were introduced.


These Small Eagle 1798 dollars were the last U.S. silver coins to bear the Small Eagle reverse. According to James Ruddy, Bowers' former partner who wrote the Photograde grading book, the Draped Bust, Small Eagle type coins as a group are the toughest United States coins to find.


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