1803 S-243 Stemless Reverse
I got this one from a fellow EACer - it was in a Coin World ad! A very interesting
variety of 1803 - it shares the stemless reverse of 1802 S-241 (see above,) but
experts can tell by the die progression that this coin was struck
BEFORE 1802 S-241. (The mint was very frugal in those days!) This is the only
stemless reverse of 1803, and it has the double letter on the last "S" in "STATES"
and the second fraction bar below the first.
A very scarce Rarity-4 variety. I found this coin on eBay, unattributed, from a dealer
who sells a LOT of coins. The 3 embedded in the bust prompted me to attribute it, and
there was no other bidder on it. A nice upgrade from an AG3.
1803 S-245 Unicorn LDS Rev Cud
A Dan Holmes duplicate coin, purchased from a major copper dealer. A die
clash at Miss Liberty's forehead gives this variety its famous moniker.
This example also has some major die clashing at the throat and a good-sized
rim cud on the reverse at K4-K5.
1803 S-246 Mumps Obverse LDS Rev Cud
The second S-246 I've owned. I bought this coin from a friend of mine because
I liked the die state, with the "mumps" die break at the chin and the reverse
cud above "STA". S-246 is easy to spot at a glance by looking at the fraction:
The numerator is high and VERY distant from the fraction bar, something not seen
on any other 1803 variety. The first coin I owned is described below.
This is an early die state, before the Mumps die break forms.
And boy, there's a story behind this one. If you read the description below for
S-247, you'll see that the S-247 was meant to be THIS coin. And I wanted to
bring a complete 4-coin set of "Mumps" varieties to our local coin meeting.
By some great fortune, this coin appeared on eBay with "Buy it Now". It was
actually a few days before I noticed it, so I used the "Buy it Later" option
(hehe.) I'm just happy no one else bought it. It's nearly a twin of the
S-247 in terms of appearance. (The coin was unattributed on eBay, but from
studying the reverse of the S-246 after the S-247 fiasco, I recognized it
1803 S-247 Mumps Obverse
A nice coin I won from a Superior auction - formerly owned by Ronnie Adam.
I had bid on it thinking it was a S-246 (that's what the auction catalog said,)
but it turned out to be a S-247. This is definitely the coin pictured in
Superior's catalog, but misattributed by them, and me also. Fortunately,
this was a nice upgrade to my low grade S-247 I already had.
1803 S-248 Mumps Obverse
The scarcest of the four "Mumps" varieties at R4.
My third example of this variety. I purchased it at the Summer Fun show in Orlando
from one of my good copper buddies in 2012. A variety that's hard to find nice.
This is an upgrade from an eBay purchase, which was an upgrade from an AG specimen
that I'd had ten years.
1803 S-249 Mumps Obverse - Corrected Fraction Reverse
This is the first coin I bought at the EAC '99 convention. I've always thought this
was a neat variety, with the 1/000 fraction corrected to 1/100/000. The fraction is
very bold on this coin, even though the coin is weakly struck in places. I had a
beat-up specimen before I bought this one; this was a nice upgrade.
1803 S-249 Corrected Fraction, Rev Cud
A coin I purchased from an EAC buddy at EAC 2009 in Cincinnati. Neat die state with
a reverse cud at RIC.
1803 S-250 Small Date/Small Fraction
I recent upgrade from a VG7 coin I had had since 2002. It was on eBay,
with a small picture (about actual size,) so I took a chance on it. Turned
out to be a nice Fine. A small pinprick below the second T in STATES is the
only real blemish.
1803 S-251 Small Date/Small Fraction
A decent, low-grade coin that I purchased from a friend of mine. One of three
(at the time) 1803's I needed for a complete 1803 date set, which is odd because
S-251 is by no means a scarce variety.
1803 S-252 Small Date/Small Fraction LDS
A nice coin I got at the Foley, AL show in January 2003 from my
favorite local dealer, Sonny Gilbert. I already had the variety
in AG, and this one caught my eye because of the cud below "18"
of the date. I believe this coin is quite scarce with the cud.
1803 S-253 Small Date/Small Fraction
A major upgrade to my first coin won in the Goldberg sale in January of
2015. Deep brown, slightly off center, with the bold reverse arc crack
at STATES. I really like this one. My first coin (below) served me well
for several years until I started getting more picky about surfaces. Funny
how your eye changes after many years of collecting. I've left the description
of the first coin intact below, but if I were describing it now, I would
say that the scratches were an issue.
I got this one off of Auction Universe - I think I was the only bidder
on it. It was described as having "fine parallel scratches" on the
bust. I expected a dog, but this one turned out to be quite attractive!
Common variety, but my first 1803.
1803 S-254 Small Date/Small Fraction
I got this one from Superior's Pre-Long Beach Auction in 2/2001. It's very
nearly choice except for a minor tick to the right of the nose. A
relatively common variety, R2.
1803 S-255 Small Date/Small Fraction
I had purchased this variety originally from a well known EAC dealer back
in 2000, a long time before I started getting "picky". It was basically
just a decent smooth coin with just lots of wear (G4 details or thereabouts.)
I upgraded in 2005 with this specimen from the Mike Iatesta sale
(Superior, 9/2005). A fantastic upgrade, and also a scarce late die
state with a reverse cud.
1803 S-256 Small Date/Small Fraction
I got this for doing some work for a friend of mine. My highest-graded coin by far.
I freed it from its tomb (an ANACS slab,) in which it was graded EF40. (The actual
grade comes up short of this.)
A very interesting variety in terms of die cracks. There's an arc-shaped crack through
the 8 in the date that travels through the bust and back to the rim; on the reverse,
there's a rim break at the first T in STATES, an arc-shaped crack starting at D in UNITED
and ending at ES of STATES, a crack through O in OF through the terminal leaves, a crack
from the rim through AM of AMERICA to the wreath, and a faint crack between UN of UNITED
to the wreath. Five cracks in all and a cud!
1803 S-257 Small Date/Large Fraction
Decent albeit low grade coin I purchased from a well known EAC dealer. This
specimen has a planchet lamination on the reverse under "UNITED".
A good upgrade candidate.
1803 S-258 Small Date/Large Fraction
A very nice example, purchased from the EAC auction in 2011, and an upgrade from my
original coin described below. A diagonal die crack through D of UNITED helps to
identify the variety.
I got this one off of USCents Auction - I was the only bidder
on it. Its only problem is a small nick on the face and a minute staple scratch (not
even visible in the scan) on the bust. Very nice specimen.
1803 S-259 Small Date/Large Fraction
An eBay purchase. Listed as a generic 1803 and spotted by eagle-eyed Keith Ward,
who emailed me about it. (This is the second S-259 I've owned, and now Keith has
my first one!) This is a scarce variety at R4.
Nice detail, with a few old obverse scratches on the bust that blend in
(sometimes with R4's you can't be TOO selective...)
This variety comes with the bottom of the "3" in the date weakly engraved; on the
subsequent S-260 variety, the "3" was strengthened. S-259 is easily attributable
by the die crack in the "D" in UNITED. But watch out; S-258 also has the crack,
and this variety is sometimes misattributed. If the position of the highest points
of Miss Liberty's hair are under the LEFT side of E and R, it's S-259. If they're
centered under ER, it's S-258.
1803 S-260 Small Date/Large Fraction
I got this one off eBay - a very common variety (perhaps the most common 1803) in
low grade. However, condition-wise, this coin is as close to choice as I've seen.
It's surprisingly hard to find even low grade coins without any problems, so I was
happy to get this one.
1803 S-261 Small Date/Large Fraction
My second example of this variety, and a vast upgrade from the first. This coin
came from the Phillip Clover collection that was sold by Heritage in 2012.
I really like the arcing obverse die crack on this example, which is strong.
I got this one off of a private web auction. It was advertised as a
G-VG (I think it's closer to a G.) Nothing too exciting about this one,
except that the devices contrast well with the fields.
My first large fraction 1803.
1803 S-262 Divided Date
A VERY underrated variety. Based on actual examples reported, this is the
scarcest 1803 variety, except for S-264. I purchased (what I thought) was
one of these at a coin show awhile back, but had misattributed it; it was
actually an early die state of S-263. An EAC buddy found this example for me
at a large coin show. Great detail with slightly porous surfaces, but still
maintains a good deal of eye appeal.
1803 S-263 LDS Obverse/Reverse Cuds
I got this one at the FUN show. This variety has a die break at the date and then evidence
of a large die failure on the reverse. This coin shares a reverse with S-264, the rare
Large Date/Small Fraction 1803, which is always in extreme demand. A bit pricey, but
an interesting variety.
1803 S-264 Large Date/Small Fraction
A "wow" coin! This was on Chris McCawley's fixed price list back in late 2011, and he
called it a "wonder of nature" at the time. S-264 is basically a variety that I figured
I'd never own, due to being picky about condition and knowing any decent example (if I
could even find one) would be expensive. Somehow, in January 2012 at the FUN show, the
stars all aligned and I ended up with this coin from Chris, which I got partially in
trade for the discovery example of 1825 N5. An earlier die state. Lower grade,
but the reverse cud is bold, the date is full and the fraction is visible. The
last 1803 I needed, and also the last 19th century Sheldon I needed!
1803 S-265 Large Date/Large Fraction
I got this one from a fellow EAC'er through a CoinWorld ad.
It's a Rarity 4, very tough to find in "nice". I had previously attempted to buy this
variety twice through the mail, but both times the coin was misattributed. Third time's
a charm I suppose. At a recent coin show I saw two S-265s; both were dogs. Glad I