1794 $1 MS (PCGS# 6851)


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    Heritage Auctions
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1794 $1 XF45 PCGS. B-1, BB-1, R.4. In his unpublished manuscript about the 1794 dollars, Jack Collins called Alexander Hamilton the "Grandfather of the 1794 Dollar." He could equally be named the Father of the U.S. Mint. At the request of Congress, Hamilton prepared an exhaustive report on "a proper plan for the establishment of a national Mint." His report was delivered to Congress on January 28, 1791, and by all accounts was a brilliant and clear report on the principal issues. Prior to that time, the colonial American money situation was certainly undesirable. Aside from Spanish colonial dollars, available coins were limited to whatever immigrants brought with them. Currency was limited to local issues, some based on shillings and others based on dollars. To make matters worse, prior to the Declaration of Independence every individual colony had there own valuation. Neil Carothers wrote in Fractional Money (pp. 19-20): "the shilling was a nominal unit, serving as a local measure of values and basis of monetary calculations. Each colony chose for itself the shilling and pence valuations of the sundry coins and commodities upon which it conferred legal tender. This practice is the outstanding feature in the history of colonial currency. It influenced the currency development of the United States long after the achievement of independence." At the beginning of his report, Alexander Hamilton discussed the valuation problem: "The immense disorder which actually reigns in so delicate and important a concern, and the still greater disorder which is every moment possible, call loudly for a reform. The dollar originally contemplated in the money transactions of this country, by successive diminutions of its weight and fineness, has sustained a depreciation of five per cent., and yet the new dollar has a currency, in all payments in place of the old, with scarcely any attention to the difference between them. The operation of this in depreciating the value of property, dep
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