1794 $1 MS (PCGS# 6851)

2008 May Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #1108

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
  • Grade:
  • Price:
Lot Description
1794 $1 VG10 PCGS. The desirability of 1794 dollars to collectors is undeniable. Only 1,758 pieces were struck, and today approximately 125 individual examples have been traced. In 2004, Martin Logies published The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794, in which he enumerated some of the problems facing the new Mint in the production of these coins: "Mint Director David Rittenhouse wanted to begin distribution of newly minted silver dollars as soon as possible, so on August 29, 1794, he made a deposit to the Mint of his own, with 1734.50 troy ounces of refined silver ingots, representing a value of $2,001.34. ... the ingots were alloyed with copper to adjust the fineness. It was at this point, however, that the Mint chose to depart from its strict adherence to the law, choosing instead to adopt the standard of 0.9000000 fineness recommended by the Assayer Albion Cox (and endorsed by Rittenhouse) in preference to the odd official standard [0.892479], based on Cox's contention that the increased purity of silver was necessary to ensure the coins would not tarnish too darkly. Impurities and gas bubbles still remained in the silver, resulting in areas of surface porosity, planchet pits, cracks, laminations and other flaws still visible after the coins were finally struck. ... The Mint's difficulty in striking these new dollars is evident (at least to some degree) on every known specimen--with the left sides of both the obverse and reverse distinctly more weakly struck than the right sides, most probably due to the faces of the dies not being aligned completely parallel." This piece displays evidence of all the problems the early Mint encountered when striking these first dollars. The stars on the left portion of the obverse are noticeably weak from the misaligned dies. A few gas bubbles are evident, but there are even more small to medium-sized planchet laminations present--several of which positively identify this as the Brooks specimen. Only the obverse is reproduced in
View the Original Auction