The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Selected Favorite Coins from A.C. Dwyer's Type Collection

About the Coin

The 1797 example of the Draped Bust silver dollar with small eagle reverse in The Arlington Collection is a beautiful gun-metal gray.

I love old silver coins with this original toning as you can see in some of my other coins such as the 1795 Flowing Hair half dollar, the 1836 Gobrecht dollar, and the 1893-S Morgan dollar.

The Draped Bust silver dollar was the second silver dollar type issued by the United States replacing the Flowing Hair type in 1795. However, it retained the small eagle reverse of the original design until 1798 when the heraldic eagle reverse was introduced.

The coin has a lettered edge with the words HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT. Lettered edging was employed as a deterent to stop the clipping of coins for their silver.

The Draped Bust silver dollar was struck from 1795 until 1803. In 1804, after only 10 years of production, Secretary of State James Madison issued an official order halting the production of silver dollars. Speculators had discovered that the new American silver dollar could be exported for a profit due to its silver content, which had the effect of removing them from circulation. It would not be until 1840 that the U.S. Mint would produce another standard silver dollar for general circulation.

However, an 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar with the heraldic eagle reverse was struck around 1834 to 1835 for use in presentation sets. Only 15 examples are known to exist and it is currently the second most valuable coin after the 1933 $20 double eagle. But the double eagle's reign at the top may soon be over after the discovery of 10 more examples.

From 1836 to 1839, the Gobrecht silver dollar pattern was produced and released into circulation. Officially a pattern, the fact that it was released into circulation in a sizable quantity has sparked a debate that still rages today as to whether or not the coin should be considered a pattern or regular circulation issue. I for one chose to include one in The Arlington Collection of U.S. Type Coins.

Designer: Robert Scot
Weight: 26.96 grams
Diameter: approx. 39-40mm, lettered edge
Composition: 89.24% silver, 10.76% copper

1797 $1 Silver Dollar

10x6 Stars - Large Letters
Draped Bust - Small Eagle Reverse

1797 $1 Silver Dollar Obverse
1797 $1 Silver Dollar Reverse

The Arlington Collection of U.S. Type Coins