1802 DRAPED BUST $1, HERALDIC EAGLE PR65 Cameo
FINEST 1802 PROOF $1. ONLY 4 KNOWN TO EXIST. CAC.
1802 DRAPED BUST - TYPE 2 $1
These early Proofs were first reported by John W. Haseltine in 1876 and offered for sale, and Haseltine was known to have obtained a number of delicacies from the Philadelphia Mint. Borckardt and Bowers discussed these Proof Novodels in their Encyclopedia and came to the conclusion that these were all struck after the Class I 1804 silver dollars, used the same reverse die (with the die crack at the top of NITED). The 1804 Class I silver dollars do not show the reverse crack, and were therefore struck before the 1801, 1802 and 1803 Proof dollars, each of which shows the reverse die crack. Die rust is also found below the arrows on the reverse for the 1801, 1802 and 1803 Novodels.
It is remarkable that the original die punches were still around in the 1830s or even later to create these dies, the bust of Liberty, the stars and most of the date punches were employed for the obverse, and the reverse die had the original eagle punch and letters except for the letter T, which may have been replaced as the T punch used on the Novodel die has a shorter left upper serif and a longer right serif, and this letter punch was not used on earlier bust dollars. If proof Bust dollars had been made during the 1794-1803 period, these Novodels would certainly be a very close match. Without question, these early Proof Bust dollars are extremely rare with just four pieces known to exist of the 1802 issue, all of which are well pedigreed back to John Haseltine in the 1870s.
Proof Draped Bust Silver Dollars are among the rarest, most intriguing coins in all of U.S. numismatics, and they are also among the most challenging to understand. Although some numismatic scholars have referred to the proof 1801, 1802, 1803 and 1804 Dollars as restrikes, they are in fact novodels. This terms is reserved for a coin struck in a later date than that depicted on the die but for which no originals were ever produced.
Of course, the most famous issue in the proof Draped Bust Silver Dollar series is the 1804. The Class I examples were created in 1834/1835 for use in special proof sets for presentation to foreign governments. The 1801, 1802 and 1803 novodels, however, appear to have been struck much later, and almost certainly for private purposes by Mint officials. In fact, these coins could have been produced as late as the 1870s during Henry R. Linderman's second term as director of the Mint. It is revealing that these coins all display beaded borders due to having been struck in a close collar - a device that was not in use in the United States Mint during the 1801-1804 era.