Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 65

Lot 5058

1798 B-30, BB-116 Pointed 9 Close Date Rarity 5. PCGS graded AU-50 PQ. CAC Approved. Subset of PCGS # 40018. In a new secure plus holder. An impressive toned example with original color of gray, blue iridescence and some reddish russet, original fields, and lighter silver-gray highlights. Representative strike for the datre, somewhat smooth at the head and shoulder area of the obverse, stronger than average on the reverse, and choice where objective quality is concerned.

The heavy coinage of silver dollars in 1798 and 1799 had an unexpected side effect. It had been normal practice for importers of foreign goods to send Spanish dollars in exchange, but the availability of the American version made it easier to use the domestic product. Many American dollars were now sent to the treaty port of Canton in China to pay for Oriental luxury goods. These dollars rarely returned and were thus lost to the nation as coins.

American dollars also went to the West Indies where they were exchanged for Spanish dollars. It has long been an article of faith among numismatists that the trade was done for a profit, but this seems unlikely, especially in view of the fact that freshly-issued United States dollars were roughly equal in pure silver to the average circulating Spanish coin of eight reales (dollar). It is more likely that American silver went to the West Indies simply because that is where the Spanish dollars were to be obtained.

There are several varieties of the Draped Bust dollar (heraldic eagle reverse) for 1798 and 1799. For 1798 the differences are rather minor for the obverses, primarily consisting of wide or close dates and knobbed or pointed 9s. For the reverse we find the so-called arc and diamond-shaped star patterns, but these probably do not reflect policy but rather differing individuals in the engraving department helping Scot prepare the dies. One reverse die even has 10 arrows instead of the standard 13. Many of the minor details in the die-such as berries, stars, and arrows-were added by hand after the main design hubs were punched into a blank die. It appears that there was one or more people seconded to the engraving department from other areas of the institution as the need arose. Pop 2; none finer at PCGS for the variety (PCGS # 40033) .
Estimated Value $10,000-UP.
The Dr. Hesselgesser Collection.

Realized $8,700

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