Draped Bust Dollar: 1795-1804


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1795-1804
Number of Types: 2
Mints: Philadelphia
Composition: 0.8924 silver, 0.1076 copper
Diameter: 39 to 40mm
Weight: 26.96 grams (0.7737 ounces of silver)
Type 1 Total Mintage: approximately 450,970
Type 2 Total Mintage: approximately 1,153,709
Edge: lettered


Designed by Robert Scot, the dollar had a composition of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper.

The obverse design depicts an idealized head of Liberty facing right, with flowing hair secured by a ribbon and the inscription LIBERTY appearing above the bust surrounded by stars, 1795 issues had 15 stars, 1796 and 1797 coins had 16 stars, 1798 coins had either 15 or 13 stars, and coins from 1799 to 1804 were all issued with 13 stars.

The edge of the coin is lettered with the inscription HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with decorations between the words.


The 1795 to 1798 issues have a reverse design that features a delicate or "small" eagle perched on a cloud, within an open olive wreath and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Type 1 Small Eagle).

From 1798 to 1804 the reverse was redesigned and features the Heraldic Eagle with arrows in one claw, an olive branch in the other and a banner in it's beak with the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM". Above the eagle design are 13 stars with an arc of clouds above the stars and the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" (Type 2 Heraldic Eagle).

There were no mint marks as all the coins were minted at the Philadelphia mint.

General Market Notes

Draped Bust Dollars are not for the faint of heart. All issues, even in the lowest grade of Good, start out in the $1,000 range and only escalate from there. If you are fortunate enough to afford an example, it is highly recommended that you purchase one that has been certified by a major coin grading company, such as PCGS or NGC, to ensure authenticity.

Warning: Only 8 original 1804 issues have survived, assume any 1804 dollar coin for sale is a fake unless certified.

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