High-grade 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar found

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., dealer Tom Pilitowski announced that he has discovered a high-grade example of the 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, Small Letters dollar.

The Professional Coin Grading Service assigned it an AU-50 grade. Pilitowski said it is just the second known AU example and is the finest one certified by PCGS to date.

Population reports from PCGS and the Numismatic Guaranty Corp. show just 29 examples in all grades and 24 are VF and lower, Pilitowski said.

Pilitowski says the 1797 Small Letters dollar is the best known variety of the Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar. In his book Silver Dollars and trade Dollars of the United States, Q. David Bowers said, “It may well be the most famous variety after 1794 and before 1804,” Pilitowski quoted.

The coin is Bowers-Borckardt variety 72, or Bolender 2.

Pilitowski said that the Norweb example was Fine-15 and the Garrett specimen was EF-40.

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Thomas M Pilitowski
U.S. Rare Coin Investments
P.O. Box 496607
Port Charlotte, Florida 33949