1795 $1 Silver Plug MS (PCGS# 6854)


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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Silver Plug AU50 PCGS. B-7, BB-18, R.3. overall, but a much greater rarity with the silver plug. The first appearance of a Silver Plug 1795 dollar (that we know of) was in the 1964 ANA Sale. The coin was identified as having a silver plug, but it did not bring any more when sold. And that is how it remained for the next thirty years: an oddity but not worth a premium. Then, about 1993, a spate of articles began to appear in numismatic journals asking (and answering) just what the nature of these coins were. Prices rapidly escalated and the Silver Plug 1795s that formerly languished in dealer's boxes quickly disappeared from the marketplace. What makes the present piece so distinctive is the presence, not only of the silver plug, but also of die adjustment marks. A planchet was produced that was a little overweight, necessitating an adjustment process to bring it back to standard, but the adjuster apparently went to far, bringing the planchet well below standard. Once reweighed and found to be light, a small hole was drilled in the center of the planchet, and a silver plug inserted to raise the weight back to standard. At that point, the planchet was struck, and the silver plug spread across both surfaces, bonding with the surrounding planchet. The reason the weight was so important on these coins is that the silver dollar was the flagship silver coin of the United States in the 1790s. When it was taken abroad, it represented the young republic in situations where no single person could represent the country. Therefore, it was vitally important that the coins weigh exactly 26.96 grams. The striking details are strong around the margins with the only area of weakness being Liberty's hair just over the ear. Iridescent gray-rose and lilac toning is seen over each side in equal portions, and there are no obvious or mentionable surface blemishes other than the above-mentioned diagonal adjustment marks. A rare opportunity to acquire this example of th
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