1795 $1 Silver Plug MS (PCGS# 6854)

2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction #1139

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    2145
  • Grade:
    AU55
  • Price:
    $83,375.00
Lot Description
1795 $1 Flowing Hair, Silver Plug AU55 PCGS. B-7, BB-18, R.3 as a variety, likely R.5 as a Silver Plug. Bowers-Borckardt Die State I. The Flowing Hair obverse shows the rounded-bust Head of 1794 rather than the pointed-bust Head of 1795. The date is widely spaced, and star 1 pierces the lowest lock of hair. There are three leaves under each eagle's wing. There are 14 berries, seven on each branch, and the E in AMERICA is double-punched at the top. In this reverse die state, two tiny die flaws appear reverse near the left ribbon end. The Silver Plug-style dollars are known in several different die combinations among the silver dollars of 1795, including the B-3, BB-11; B-4, BB-14; B-7, BB-18, as here; B-1, BB-21; and B-5, BB-27. They are a relatively recent discovery. It is believed that they are, in effect, the opposite of the much more commonly seen die adjustment marks on early silver or gold; that is, they were used to bring a lower-weight silver planchet up to standard before striking, rather than filing down an overweight planchet. Because the plugs were inserted before striking, they can be difficult to detect afterward; they can, under normal circumstances, blend in with the rest of the coin's surface. Some Silver Plug 1795 half dollars are known, as well as a single Silver Plug 1794 silver dollar. (Although no early gold coins are known that were plugged at the Mint before striking, the existence of two different silver denominations does raise that fascinating possibility.) On the present piece, the silver plug blends in nicely with the surroundings due to its similar color. A 5x loupe, however, clearly reveals the circular plug that revolves almost exactly around the die-centering mark, a feature that is incused into the die and struck in relief on the coin. The prevailing color is silver-gray, with some lilac hues closer to the obverse rim. Excellent luster radiates from both sides, and there are only scattered abrasions consistent with the grade. The Sil
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