Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 65

Lot 5040

1798 B-20, BB-102 Pointed 9 Wide Date Rarity 5. PCGS graded AU-58. Subset of PCGS # 40018. In a new secure plus holder. Condition Census #1. Later state with a heavy rim break (which in its early development is often mistaken for a bruise or a nick) below the eagle's tail, extending to the last A in AMERICA. A gorgeous high-grade specimen of the optimum, hand-picked appearance. The extremely lustrous areas within the devices show signs of mingled medium gray color throughout. Agreeable as this is, we can also point to the fact every detail is well struck -- to say the least! -- in fact, fully so, with such definition to merit special reference here. No doubt this coin will attract a lot of attention and, we hope, many strong bids from insightful buyers. Pop 1; none finer at PCGS for the variety. The Finest Known BB-102.

Die notes: Obverse 6. Wide date, 11 mm. across at widest part. 1 close to curl, 8 near bust but does not touch. Two upper stars near L and Y. First star nearly 4 mm. from hair. Ray of last star points to lower edge of a denticle. The obverse displays a prominent die chip between the left side of the 9 and the bust. The bottom stand of the T in LIBERTY is repunched. Obverse die used to strike 1798 BB-102, BB-103, and BB-107.

Reverse E: From same die used to strike BB-94 and BB-95. The die crack that developed on BB-95 from right wing down through I in AMERICA to border has now become heavier. Another crack is below ER in AMERICA. The BB-102 reverse also has a number of die dots in and around the second cloud from the right plus a small crack from the O to the F in OF, to the lower part of the first S in STATES. Incused denticles (clash marks from the obverse) are often visible above ES and OF. Faint clash mark from bust is seen through OF. Reverse die used to strike 1798 BB-94 (earliest state), BB-95 (intermediate state), and BB-102 (final state).

"BB-102 is in the medium range of scarcity among silver dollars of 1798," explains Bowers. "The variety is one of only a few with an average grade below the VF level. A review of auction appearances demonstrates that here is a variety for which EF and AU are remarkable grades." Remarkable indeed! This magnificent AU58 is the top example graded.

Exactly why 1798 BB-102 should be so elusive in any grade above VF is one of those mysteries that makes collecting early dollars so interesting. The answer probably lies in the method of distribution (PCGS # 40019) .
Estimated Value $18,000-UP.
The Dr. Hesselgesser Collection.

Realized $16,100

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