1794 $1 MS (PCGS# 6851)

2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont #1188

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    5683
  • Grade:
    F12
  • Price:
    $170,375.00
Lot Description
1794 $1 Fine 12 PCGS. CAC. B-1, BB-1, R.4. Bowers-Borckardt Die State III. The 1794 Flowing Hair dollar has been prominent in the national news media recently, since the finest known SP66 PCGS specimen sold for $10 million last January, a record price for any U.S. coin. Heritage Auctions is pleased to offer an appealing example of this classic American rarity, in the more-often-seen grade of Fine 12 PCGS, from the famous H. Rolland Willasch Collection. The Philadelphia Mint struck silver dollars for the first time in 1794, with a small mintage of 1,758 pieces. Silver coinage had been delayed until that time because Assayer Albion Cox and Chief Coiner Henry Voigt were unable to meet the strict bonding requirements Congress had imposed on their positions. Thomas Jefferson intervened to lower the requirements to a more reasonable level in 1794, removing this formidable difficulty. A single die variety is known for the date. The silver bullion used to coin the 1794 dollars was provided by Mint Director David Rittenhouse, and he received the entire mintage of this date and distributed the coins through private channels. The mintage was necessarily small because the largest coin press at the Mint was designed to strike half dollar-sized coins, and lacked the capacity to strike larger issues. Almost all 1794 dollars are softly struck on the lower-left obverse because of insufficient striking pressure and misaligned die placement. Reportedly, many examples of the initial mintage were judged too poorly struck to be released. Those specimens were melted and restruck the following year, when a larger press was obtained. Prominent collector and researcher Martin Logies has identified 134 distinct survivors from the small mintage in his exhaustive census in The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794. The present coin is an evenly worn Fine 12 example, with the typical soft strike on the lower-left obverse and corresponding area on the reverse.
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