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1795 Draped Bust $1 Silver Dollor

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The designs of the earliest United States silver and copper coins were soon recognized as being somewhat deficient from both the aesthetic and durability standpoints. With Coiner Robert Scot firmly in place by 1795, the U. S. Mint was able to undertake the creation of new designs that would prove more suitable. Legend has it that the Draped Bust of Liberty which debuted on the silver dollar in 1795 was based on a design by famed portrait artist Gilbert Stuart and modeled by Philadelphia socialite Anna Willing Bingham. As with so many stories of our early coinage, however, there is not one shred of evidence from that period to link Stuart with this design. The writings of Walter Breen, in particular, have perpetuated or even created from scratch many scenarios which cannot now be substantiated with contemporaneous documents. What is known for a fact is that this portrait was and remains extremely appealing. It is confirmed that John Eckstein was paid on September 9, 1795 for "two models for dollars." This action fits in nicely with the supposed timeline of the new portrait, and it's quite possible that Scot engraved the hub punches for this coin type using Eckstein's relief models, though it doesn't answer the question of who created the original designs. There are just two die marriages for 1795 Draped Bust Dollars, and each utilized unique obverse and reverse dies.