Type collectors know that the hardest-to-find type is the small eagle type, used on silver coins from 1795-98. Half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars used this motif. The eagle is shown sitting on a cloud, holding its head high, surrounded by a wreath.
When the Photograde guide was published in 1970, the author mentioned that the most difficult type to find for the photos was the small eagle half dime. These tiny coins saw much circulation and abuse, too. Many are found nicked or bent. Small eagle half dimes were minted in 1796 and 1797.
Small eagle dimes were minted the same years, Like the half dimes, values are in four figures, even for worn specimens.
The first quarters were minted in 1796, bearing the small eagle. This is a one-year type coin, in high demand. A surprising number survive in high grades, perhaps because it was a first-year coin. These are famous for having the eagle's head weakly struck. I've seen near Mint State coins with the eagle's head barely visible.
Type collectors are often stopped from building a complete type set by the small eagle half dollar, struck only two years, Even worn coins fetch $20,000 or more, when they become available.
Small eagle silver dollars were minted from 1795-1798. Prices are not too panful, at least for early coins with a scarce design type. Collectors who can have only one small eagle coin may want the dollar. These coins are big, beautiful, and historical.
Collectors and historians have to love the small eagle coins.