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HomeUS CoinsGuess the Grade of This 1803 Draped Bust Silver Dollar

Guess the Grade of This 1803 Draped Bust Silver Dollar


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You are looking at an 1803 Draped Bust silver dollar – can you guess the grade? But first….

Last time, we shared with you a toned 1924-D Buffalo nickel.

Some commented on the weak strike. I think, having looked at the coin, that the toning gives off that vibe. Not saying the coin was super sharp, but the detail is hidden behind the dark color.

Ogir Coins said MS66*. I’d give it a star, too, but NGC did not. They graded the coin straight MS66.

Carrol Leger Jr. also got it right.

This coin is tied for the finest certified by NGC with one other coin. And this example brought $6,600 at a recent auction.

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The 1803 Draped Bust dollar is the final legitimate silver dollar struck with the Draped Bust design. Of course, we all know about the famous “King of American Coins” – the 1804 dollar. That coin, though struck by the United States Mint, is a novodel, struck for inclusion in diplomatic proof sets in 1834. Others were produced later to satisfy collector interest.

The 1803 dollar, however, was struck in 1803… and 1804… intended for commerce and produced to the tune of 85,634 coins. The Mint was ordered to halt production of the large sliver coin in the summer of 1803 by President Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to halt the wide-scale exportation of American silver coins. In 1804, nearly 20,000 1803 dated coins were struck, but that was it.

As a denomination, the silver dollar was done and would not return until the late 1830s.

This coin is struck with the BB-255 die marriage. It features a large 3 that is situated slightly below the other digits. The stars on the right are typically connected by a thin die crack.

This example has dappled toning in the protected areas and a few minor imperfections. The strike is stronger on the right side of the coin–a fact that can be seen when one examines the stars and denticles.

The design on the reverse seems to be well struck up and the toning pattern continues. This is a relatively wholesome example of an American classic.

So what’s the grade?

CoinWeek editor Charles Morgan narrates.

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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker’s 100 Greatest Modern World Coins has gotten five-star reviews on Amazon and Lou Golino and David T. Alexander both gave the book their highest recommendations.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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