The consensus among numismatic experts is that the coin was the first silver dollar minted in the U.S. Click To Tweet Sometimes a plug was inserted into the coin to obtain the proper planchet weight. Click To Tweet

In the world of numismatics, there exist coins that are so striking, so historic, so valuable, the hobby is rocked when they catch a glimpse of them. The finest example of the 1794 Dollar, purchased by renowned coin collector Bruce Morelan, is one of those coins. Not only does it carry incredible aesthetic and historic value; it holds tremendous financial value as well.

Introducing the world’s first $10 million coin.

Here’s a look at this stunning coin, why it is likely the first dollar minted on U.S. soil, what — if any — coins are worth more, and its upcoming display at the Long Beach Expo in Long Beach, California.

The finest known 1794 Dollar, image via PCGS CoinFacts
The finest known 1794 Dollar, image via PCGS CoinFacts

The First Dollar Ever Struck on U.S. Soil

… At least, lots of evidence suggests this. The consensus among numismatic experts is that the coin was the first silver dollar minted in the U.S., and considering that likelihood, it may have even been held by our first President, George Washington, for a final “OK” during the minting process.

What leads experts to believe it was the first dollar struck? A number of factors, actually, most notably the enduring, sharp strike — so sharp, in fact, that it appears to be the first impression of the original die used during the minting process.

Other evidence that this coin is the first dollar struck in the U.S. can be found in the Smithsonian, where the matching copper die trial is exhibited. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the coin spent any time in a bag with other coins, perhaps because it is THE coin. The obvious aesthetic reasons do not hurt the coin’s case either — no 1794 Dollar looks like this $10 million example, with its razor-sharp strike and full reflective fields throughout.

What also makes this coin unique, aside from its obvious historical value and incredible state after over 200 years, is the fact that it is the only 1794 Dollar known to contain a silver plug for production purposes. (Sometimes a plug was inserted into the coin to obtain the proper planchet weight, back when coins were minted using a hand-turned screw press.)

The list goes on, but in short, it’s difficult to refute the assertion that the coin was the first U.S. dollar minted. 

Do Other More Valuable Coins Exist?

That’s a great question. The short answer is a series of “ifs.” If this coin wasn’t exhibited at the Smithsonian, if that coin wasn’t privately owned, and if this coin were to have successfully sold at auction, they’d all have viable shots of earning the “world’s most valuable coin” moniker.

But again, it’s all one big if.

Possible most valuable coins include:

The 1849 $20, image via National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution
The 1849 $20, image via National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution
  • 1849 $20: A one-of-a-kind that is currently part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian. It is the only 1849 Double Eagle known, worth an estimated $10-$20 million.
1907 $20 J-1776/1905, image via David Akers/Bob Harwell
1907 $20 J-1776/1905, image via David Akers/Bob Harwell
  • 1907 $20 Pattern Judd-1905 (formerly Judd-1776): Nicknamed “Teddy’s coin,” Theodore Roosevelt was involved in the coin’s creation. It currently resides in a private collection.
Pogue-Childs Silver Dollar, image via PCGS CoinFacts
Pogue-Childs Silver Dollar, image via PCGS CoinFacts
  • Pogue-Childs 1804 Silver Dollar: This one is interesting because it was on the auction block earlier this year and received a bid of $10.6 million, which would be the new most valuable coin, but that price failed to meet the consignor’s reserve price. So the coin ultimately failed to sell.

There are other coins that could challenge the 1794 Dollar’s value; these are only a few of the notable examples.

The Coin and Entire Set Will Be on Display

After reading about such a valuable, fascinating coin as the 1794 Dollar, you might be wondering  “How can I see this numismatic spectacle in person?” Fortunately for curious collectors out there, most notably those in the Florida and California regions, this coin will be on display at the beginning of 2017, as part of the FUN Show in Ft. Lauderdale (January 5-8, 2017), as well as the Long Beach Expo (February 16-18, 2017).

Yes, the speculative $10 million-plus values of the previous coins could challenge the current, and for now only, $10 million coin, but in the meantime that title belongs to the 1794 Dollar.

 

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