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Legendary 1794 Silver Dollar

1794 $1 XF45 PCGS. Ex: Troy Wiseman Collection. B-1, BB-1, R.4. Die State IV. This is a later die state with the obverse die lapped, shortening the tips of the hair curls, especially toward the bottom. Representing the initial year of production for regular issue silver coins and the dollar denomination, the 1794 was destined to be a classic of United States coinage. This is one of the most important issues ever struck at the Philadelphia Mint. But it is also one of the most elusive silver dollars ever struck, with only 1,758 pieces deemed satisfactory, all from a single pair of dies. An unknown additional quantity were thought to have been rejected and perhaps later used as planchets (at least one 1795 dollar is known struck over a 1794). Most students believe that about 125 to 130 examples of this issue are known, based almost exclusively on the research of the late Jack Collins, and continued by Martin Logies. This example is the 20th specimen listed in Logies' reference, although some of the higher grade pieces are damaged and repaired. In terms of overall desirability, we suggest that this example is among the top dozen. The acquisition of a 1794 silver dollar in any cabinet establishes the collector as a true student of numismatics and a connoisseur of early American coinage.
Apparently after the 1794 copper trial striking was produced and the first several dollars came off the presses, the dies went out of alignment causing the left obverse stars to appear weakly struck, a characteristic seen on virtually every known example, including this one, although the stars and date at the lower left are stronger than on many examples. The medium-gray surfaces, accented in slightly deeper steel-violet hues, are well balanced in all other areas and are about as pleasant as one could hope to find on a mid-grade 1794 dollar. The obligatory adjustment marks are randomly located about the margins and are generally unobtrusive, the deepest found about the D in UNITED. A pinpoint mark above the eagle's beak could also be used for identification. Encapsulation prevents a thorough examination of the edges, but there appears to be a small obverse rim bump to the right of 6 o'clock and another on the reverse at 2 o'clock. A few short scratches are evident along the upper obverse border, and faint adjustment marks are noted along the reverse border. The most significant of these is a small mark at the right side of the D, an obvious pedigree characteristic. Overall, an exceedingly nice example of this famous silver dollar rarity.
Ex: Harlan P. Smith (S.H. and H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 403; later, Stack's (6/1989), lot 1998; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3814; Frontenac Sale (Bowers and Merena, 11/1991), lot 2195; 1997 ANA (Heritage, 7/1997), lot 6470; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1443.
From the Troy Wiseman Collection.
(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24WY, PCGS# 6851)

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Auction Dates
September, 2006
13th-16th Wednesday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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