Off-Center 1795 Draped Bust Dollar to be Auctioned in Spring 2023

When collectors think of off-center coins, they often envision errors, like Lincoln Memorial cents or other common present-day coinage, with only part of the design visible, hanging off of the edge of the improperly struck planchet. 1795 Draped Bust dollars have their own off-center coins, but they are not errors; a die sinker at the Philadelphia Mint simply punched Liberty’s bust too far to the left in the obverse die used to strike the first Draped Bust silver dollars in 1795. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to be offering an attractive circulated example of this distinctive die marriage in our Spring 2023 Auction.

Two die pairs were used to strike 1795 Draped Bust dollars, the second of two types struck in 1795, as during that year the Draped Bust replaced the Flowing Hair design. It is thought that an engraver completed the off-center die despite the misplaced bust because of the high cost of die steel. This marriage, cataloged as BB-51, is easily identifiable by the position of Liberty’s bust as the lower left curls of her hair touch the lower-left star.

Precise mintages of the two marriages are unknown. The aggregate reported mintage is 42,738, though experts believe that the total could be considerably higher. Certified populations suggest that the Off-Center Bust coins are quite a bit rarer than their counterparts with better-centered busts. PCGS reports 347 grading events for 1795 Off-Center Bust dollars in its census, 39 of which are specifically identified as BB-51. Forty of the reported grading events are for coins in VF-35, a grade which places our offered example solidly in the middle tier of the service’s census. NGC reports 102 grading events for Off-Center Bust 1795 dollars.

The attractive example to be offered in our Spring 2023 Auction is certified Very Fine 35 by Professional Coin Grading Service. It exhibits even wear, and attractive gunmetal gray coloration predominates with lighter gray on the higher points of the design. We expect the coin to attract strong bidding from discerning early silver dollar collectors.

For more information on the sale or to consign to an upcoming auction, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

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