1794 $1 MS (PCGS# 6851)

2009 CSNS PN

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1794 $1 MS61 NGC. Bass Collection. The late Jack Collins made a special study of 1794 dollars and traced their pedigrees for many years. Jack was a classic example of a perfectionist. The non-publication of his manuscript also illustrates the bind many numismatic authors find themselves in: should the writer publish before the last word has been spoken or written on the subject, or should he go ahead and publish, knowing that others will revise or correct his work at a later date? We tend to believe the latter should be the case, as we view the addition and diffusion of knowledge as an ongoing process. Jack's manuscript had a lengthy introduction that traced the development of the dollar (thaler) from the time of Archduke Sigismund in 1477 to the first United States silver dollars of 1794. In the introduction, he acknowledges the importance of the ounce-sized silver coins over the centuries: "Unlike smaller coins, circulating thalers and dollars of the world became public relations items, to spread laudatory propaganda about the ruling families who ordered them made and issued, to publicize events these families believed important enough to record for coming generations, and to disperse these images worldwide." And so it was with the 1794 dollar in the United States. All early coins, but especially the dollars and gold coins were seen as ambassadors of the fledgling United States. Their weight and fineness had to be beyond reproach (thus the adjustment marks often seen), and the designs had to send the "correct" image abroad (thus the short-lived Chain cent with its chain on the reverse "a bad omen for liberty"). The head of Liberty on the 1794 dollar closely follows that on the 1794 cents, also engraved by Robert Scot, a former bank note engraver. The planchets were made in part from the Bank of Maryland's bullion deposit of July 18, of 94,532 ounces of French minor coins containing 69,692.4 ounces of lower fineness silver that had to be brought up to 900 fineness.
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