Holed Draped Bust Dollars



One of the cool things about coins is how you can flip the undesirable on its head. Take holed coins. Some people considered them undesirable. Holed coins are damaged coins.

But not only are there savings in those holes, there's also history. Coins have had holes drilled in them from the beginning of coinage. Sometimes the holes were drilled so the coins could be worn as a necklace or bracelet or used as a button. Other times the holes were put there for more practical reasons. Even well into the 19th century in the U.S., people strung coins together with a strip of rawhide, rope, or horse hair and wore them around their neck, where they could be concealed under a garment rather than carried more openly, and dangerously, in a pocket or purse.

People through the ages have also holed coins to nail them to a door or wall in praise of the ruler who issued them or the god illustrated on them or in hope of gaining protection from the ruler or god.

The market value of holed coins ranges widely, from near melt value to one-third or more of the same coin undamaged. The first six holed Bust dollars below are part of a six-coin holed Heraldic Eagle Draped Bust dollar set I built.

After completing this set, I added an 1889 holed Morgan dollar and a 1922-S holed Peace dollar, for a wacky three-century
holed dollar miniset.

Note: All of the coins illustrated on these pages that are in my possession are stored off site.















Holed 1798 dollar. An attractive holed coin whose devices are lighter than the fields.















Holed 1799 dollar. This is a pleasant coin, though with its monochromatic toning and subtle hairlines, it shows evidence of having been wiped long ago.















Holed 1800 dollar. This is a very attractive holed coin, with nice contrast between devices and fields, the only problems being minor pock marks on Liberty and faint scratches along the neck of the eagle, both of which add to the character of the coin.















Holed 1801 dollar. This is a difficult year to find, with holes or otherwise. The coin has a history, with some scratches on the obverse left field and some gouges on the reverse.















Holed 1802 dollar. This coin doesn't have much wear, and the spotting complements the hole and adds a bit to the visual interest.

























Holed 1803 dollar. This holed Bust dollar has a very pleasant appearance, with its only problem being an unobtrusive old scratch in the reverse left field.

The above coins, despite their damage, have both history and bona fide eye appeal. A hole, to my eyes, is more beautiful than a plug, which to me is a misguided attempt to return a coin to a previous time in its history. Here are two plugged Bust dollars.














Plugged 1799 dollar, plug at the "R" in LIBERTY, with damage as a result of the heat used in the plugging process.



Plugged 1802 dollar, plug below the "ER" in LIBERTY, graded Fine details Net AG-3 by ANACS.




























There are lots of things that can happen to a coin over time, some good (toning), some not. Plugging isn't the only way Bust dollars turn ugly.




Draped Bust


Anne's Life

Anne's Death

1804 Dollar


Dollar Set






Other Images

More Info

Other glomworthy coins:

Oldest Coins

 Athenian Owls

Alexander the Great Coins

Medusa Coins

Thracian Tetradrachms

House of Constantine

Draped Bust Coins

Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

Coin sites:
Coin Collecting: Consumer Protection Guide
Glomming: Coin Connoisseurship
Bogos: Counterfeit Coins

© 2014 Reid Goldsborough

Note: Any of the items illustrated on these pages that are in my possession are stored off site.