The hair is tied with a ribbon behind, and a band with incused LIBERTY is embedded in the hair. IN GOD WE TRUST is on each side, with date below. The reverse shows a puny perched eagle surrounded by a wreath, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE DOLLAR at the rim, while the Latin motto is in an inner arc above the eagle. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
The Mint in 1879 produced a plethora of silver dollar pattern designs aimed at supplanting the Morgan dollar design of the inexperienced assistant engraver, George T. Morgan--a design that, of course, was struck by the many millions beginning the prior year, in 1878. While the Morgan dollar design saw much criticism in its time, it is well-loved today. If this was meant as an improvement.
The USPatterns.com website calls the design a "borderline R.7" in rarity, meaning that perhaps 13-15 survivors are known. NGC and PCGS combined have certified nine pieces.
PR64 $14,950.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1879 $1 Dollar, Judd-1606, Pollock-1802, High R.6
The ninth edition of Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers, attributes this design to William Barber. Liberty's hair is tightly coiled with a ribbon at the back, and she wears a band in her hair with incused LIBERTY. The stars are seven left, six right, with date below. The problematic reverse shows a rather poorly modeled eagle on a perch, with an irregularly spaced and misaligned UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above. The Latin motto is beneath, and because the eagle holds the right (facing) wing higher than the left, the UNUM is on the verge of crashing into it. Both the olive branch and arrows are poorly modeled: The tip of the branch appears cut off behind the left wing, and the arrowheads scarcely emerge from behind the right. An attractive wreath surrounds the eagle, with the denomination below. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Like its silver sibling, the copper striking of the Judd-1606 is also rated a borderline R.7 by USPatterns.com. This design was either modeled by William Barber when he was in his early 70s (per Judd) and in the last year of his life, or by his son Charles when he was approaching 40.