1795 $1 B-1 BB-21 Silver Plug MS (PCGS# 39994)


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Lot Description
1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. B-1, BB-21. Rarity-1 (as a die variety). Two Leaves--Silver Plug--MS-61 (NGC). Eagerly sought by advanced early dollar collectors in today's market, the intriguing silver plug Flowing Hair silver dollars of 1795 eluded numismatic attention for nearly 200 years after they were produced. Neither John W. Haseltine nor M.H. Bolender identified these pieces, and it was not until the early 1990s that numismatic scholars began to seriously study the silver plug feature with a view toward proper attribution and classification.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;What the market has discerned since then -- much of which, it must be remembered, is theory, as there is no contemporary documentation explaining this feature -- is that somewhere between 30 and 100 examples of the 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar were struck on planchets into which a tiny silver dowel, or plug, was inserted prior to striking. A simple piercing would have sufficed to hold the plug in place until the force of striking impressed it into the surface of the coin. The insertion of the plug seems to have been an experiment, conducted almost exclusively on 1795 dated silver dollars, with the goal of bringing lightweight planchets up to the mandated standard and, hence, enabling them to be used in coinage. Although the plug remains clearly visible after striking, metallurgical analysis of at least one example has confirmed that the silver fineness and trace metals are virtually identical for both the plug and the remainder of the planchet.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;To date, numismatists have identified only five die marriages of the 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar&nbsp;for which silver plug examples are known: B-1, B-3, B-4, B-7 and B-9. (A listing for a B-5 example with a silver plug in <em>The PCGS Population Report </em>is an error -- we have seen that coin and, in consultation with early dollar specialists, have confirmed that it is misattributed as having a s
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