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Lot
7928

1794 $1 AU58 SEGS. Micro Porous Planchet, Sharp Strike (...

2004 May (CSNS) Signature Sale #346

 
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Auction Ended On: May 7, 2004
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Description:
Very Rare And Important Almost Uncirculated 1794 Dollar
1794 $1 AU58 SEGS. Micro Porous Planchet, Sharp Strike (AU58 Planchet Flaws, Corroded, Cleaned). B-1, BB-1. The insert for this coin notes "Sharp Strike" and that is certainly worth pointing out, as it is so unusual to find a 1794 dollar with nearly uniform strength of strike. Almost all dollars of this date are known with the left stars on the obverse very weakly defined. The commonly held belief is that shortly after striking began, perhaps even after the first coin was produced, the dies slipped out of parallel alignment with each other, causing the left portion of each side to be weakly struck. The stars on the left side of this coin show some softness, but that statement must be taken in the context of 1794 dollars as a whole. To our knowledge, only one coin (the Amon Carter piece) has complete definition on the left side of the obverse, and most of the 120-130 survivors show very weak details, some barely even discernible, on the stars on the left side. On this piece all the stars are clearly outlined, if not fully brought up as those on the right side.
The overall condition, as well as the striking detail, on this piece is nothing less than spectacular. Most 1794 dollars are VG to VF, and may we also say that in our experience most pieces are overgraded by an average of ten points. This is a properly graded, high-end AU, and as such it is one of the finest examples known of this first silver dollar delivery of October 15, 1794. Most of the coins we have encountered display planchet problems, cleaning, graffiti, repairs, or some combination thereof. This particular coin has its share of Mint-made, as well as post-minting problems; however, they are far less in severity than many 1794 dollars and certainly within the tolerable range for the specialist seeking a high grade example. The most notable planchet flaws are located across the bridge of Liberty's nose and into the right obverse field, on the neck of Liberty, and beneath the eagle's right (facing) wing. The surfaces appear to have also corroded somewhat, although slightly. The SEGS insert skirts around this by stating the coin has a "Micro Porous Planchet." When closely examined with a magnifier one can see a speck of microscopic active corrosion in Liberty's hair, thus laying to rest any speculation about "impurities in the just-poured silver alloy" as described in one of this coin's previous auction appearances. Myriad fine hairlines can also be seen over each side, but these are not immediately visible or distracting as the surfaces are also overlaid by a medium density gray patina that greatly subdues their presence. While much of this write-up has focused on the negative aspects of this coin, too much emphasis can be placed on these factors, and one must weigh the overall appearance, sharpness of strike, and historic pedigree of this coin when evaluating the desirability and worth of this important early dollar.
As an interesting sidenote, in the Bowers catalog from 1998, he states that the 1794, "is the one variety of early silver coins that the Chapman brothers never were able to purchase over the counter from the public in one or another of the stores and offices they maintained for many years in Philadelphia." That statement speaks volumes about the overall rarity of 1794 dollars, and it gives one a strong indication of the importance of a high grade example such as this one.
Ex: George H. Hall Collection (Stack's, 5/45), lot 1444, where it brought $1,200, while the pedigree is to the Hall sale, the coin was not a part of Hall's numismatic holdings, per a footnote in the unpublished Collins' manuscript: "Carl W. A. Carlson in his research has uncovered the fact that most of the coins in that catalogue were not the property of George Hall, but were actually assembled from Stack's inventory, and further, that many of these were privately sold before the auction, and the Prices Realized List mostly reflects those over-the-counter transactions;" George O. Walton Collection (Stack's, 10/63), lot 1105, where it realized $4,000; The Premier Sale (Superior, 1/95), lot 934; Lewis M. Reagan Collection (Stack's, 1/96), lot 606 (raw); The Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/98), lot 218.(#6851) (Registry values: N14284) (NGC ID# 24WY, PCGS# 6851)

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