The Draped Bust theme was first used on UnitedStates coinage in 1795. It was the famous portrait painter GilbertStuart who sketched the initial design, later to engraved by RobertScot. Stuart’s model for Lady Liberty was a well known 31-year oldPhiladelphia woman named Ann Willing Bingham. The Mint paid artist JohnEckstein $30 to translate Stuart’s sketches into workable drawings forScot. Eckstein is most likely responsible for the small eagle reverse.




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Stuart’s role in the Draped Bustinspiration was revealed in 1861, when Director Snowden wrote:

“Thehead of Liberty of the dollar of 1795 was designed by Stuart, thecelebrated portrait painter, at the request of the Director , as we learned from a relation of the family, Stuartfacetiously remarking that “Liberty on the other coins had run mad,” --referring to the disheveled hair on the previous coins. “We willbind it up and thus render her a steady matron.”

As one might expect with an early date UnitedStates coin, the 1796Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver Dollar is very rare, and there are justnot nearly enough of them to go around to satisfy collectors. There areseveral varieties of the 1796 silver dollar. You can buy any of themwith greatconfidence in continued value appreciation.

1796 Draped Bust Small EagleSilver Dollar
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Coin Photos courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries

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1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver Dollar (G-4 Condition)

The blue line above charts the percentincrease in value of the 1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver Dollarsince Year 2000. The red line does the same for our Rare Coin Values Index, which is based on theperformance of 87 rare US coins, which were selected to represent thespectrum of scarce United States coins. The objective of the Index isto get a feel for the overall direction of the rare US coin market. Asyou can see, the 1796 silver dollar has increased in value at a rate alittle under the overall Index. The 1796 silver dollar is one of thecoins included in the Index. Every month, Index ratings are updated.




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Members of the Rare CoinValues Index
DateCoin TypeGradeEst. Retail Value Sep 2021
1793Liberty Cap Left Half CentG-44000
1802 2/0 Rev 1802Draped Bust Half CentG-4850
1793 Chain AMERI.Flowing Hair Large CentG-410000
1794 Starred RevLiberty Cap Large CentG-435000
1799Draped Bust Large CentG-44750
1856Flying Eagle CentG-46500
1877Indian Head CentG-4600
1909-S VDBLincoln CentG-4600
1914-DLincoln CentG-4170
1922-D (No D)Lincoln CentG-4550
1864 Small MottoTwo CentF-12375
1865Three Cent SilverPF-651750
1884Three Cent NickelF-12925
1795Flowing Hair Half DimeG-41400
1797Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half DimeG-41500
1800Draped Bust, Large Eagle Half DimeG-41100
1865Seated Liberty Half DimeG-4300
1879Shield NickelVG-8575
1885Liberty NickelVG-8600
1913-S Type 2Buffalo NickelG-4325
1918/7-DBuffalo NickelG-4775
1937-D 3 LegsBuffalo NickelG-4475
1796Draped Bust DimeG-42750
1822Capped Bust DimeG-42000
1871-CCSeated Liberty DimeG-43250
1895-OBarber DimeG-4525
1916-DMercury DimeVG-81400
1942/1-DMercury DimeVG-8425
1875-CCTwenty CentG-4250
1796Draped Bust, Small Eagle QuarterG-411500
1804Draped Bust, Large Eagle QuarterG-44000
1823Capped Bust QuarterG-440000
1870-CCSeated Liberty QuarterG-49000
1896-SBarber QuarterG-4700
1901-SBarber QuarterG-44750
1916Standing Liberty QuarterG-42900
1918/7-SStanding Liberty QuarterG-41150
1923-SStanding Liberty QuarterG-4300
1932-DWashington QuarterF-12100
1794Flowing Hair Half DollarG-44500
1796 16 StarsDraped Bust Small Eagle Half DollarG-440000
1815/12Capped Bust Half DollarG-41750
1836 Reed EdgeCapped Bust Half DollarG-41000
1870-CCSeated Liberty Half DollarG-4900
1892-OBarber Half DollarG-4300
1921-DWalking Liberty Half DollarVG-8350
1938-DWalking Liberty Half DollarVG-860
1953-S Franklin Half DollarMS-65 FBL18000
1794Flowing Hair Silver DollarG-475000
1796Draped Bust Small Eagle Silver DollarG-41750
1801Draped Bust Large Eagle Silver DollarG-41000
1836Gobrecht Dollar, Name on Base,Circ. IssueXF-4012500
1873-CCSeated Liberty DollarG-47500
1879Trade DollarPF-656350
1889-CCMorgan Silver DollarF-12800
1893-SMorgan Silver DollarF-123750
1895Morgan Silver DollarF-12 (PF Only)35000
1928Peace DollarF-12225
1849-C Cl. WreathType One Gold DollarVF-201350
1855-DType Two Gold DollarVF-2016750
1861-DType Three Gold DollarVF-2033500
1796 No StarsCapped Bust $ 2.50 Quarter EagleF-1264500
1808Capped Draped Bust $2.50 Quarter EagleF-1245000
1826Capped Head $2.50 Quarter EagleF-129500
1838-CClassic Head $2.50 Quarter EagleF-123850
1848 CAL.Coronet $2.50 Quarter EagleF-1235000
1856-DCoronet $2.50 Quarter EagleF-1210000
1911-DIndian Head $2.50 Quarter EagleXF-403500
1854-DIndian Head Three DollarF-1222500
1795Capped Bust Small Eagle $5.00 HalfEagleF-1220000
1800Capped Bust Large Eagle $5.00 HalfEagleF-124250
1808Capped Draped Bust $5.00 Half EagleF-123500
1821Capped Head $5.00 Half EagleF-1232500
1833 Large DateCapped Head $5.00 Half EagleF-1216500
1834 Cross 4Classic Head $5.00 Half EagleF-121300
1861-DCoronet $5.00 Half EagleF-1220000
1870-CCCoronet $5.00 Half EagleF-1215000
1909-OIndian Head $5.00 Half EagleXF-407250
1795 9 LeavesCapped Bust Small Eagle $10 EagleF-1283500
1804Capped Bust Large Eagle $10 EagleF-1220000
1841-OCoronet $10 EagleF-126000
1879-CCCoronet $10 EagleF-1211250
1911-DIndian Head $10 EagleXF-402000
1930-SIndian Head $10 EagleXF-4031250
1859-OCoronet $20 Double EagleVF-2016500
1907 Wire RimSt-Gaudens $20 Double EagleXF-409950
1921St-Gaudens $20 Double EagleXF-4047500