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    Description

    1794 Dollar, Well-Defined VF Details
    B-1, BB-1, An American Classic

    1794 $1 B-1, BB-1, R.4 -- Repaired -- PCGS Genuine. VF Details. The current count of surviving 1794 Flowing Hair dollars stands at 137 confirmed examples, with two or three additional pieces possibly extant based on unconfirmed and/or unplated auction appearances. The 2010 Martin A. Logies book, The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794, pictures 134 known 1794 dollars, making it an important resource for early dollar collectors looking to add an authentic example of America's first silver dollar to their set.

    The present coin surfaced relatively late in the storied 225-year history of the issue. Its first documented appearance was in a January 2007 Stack's auction, followed shortly thereafter by a subsequent 2007 offering by Bowers and Merena. Today, the piece is certified Genuine by PCGS with VF Details -- a coin that lacks its wholly original surfaces, yet is sharply defined for the specified grade, with bold central elements and stronger peripheries than often seen on a 1794. The coin is documented by Logies on page 202 of his reference, which quotes its initial Stack's appearance (in part):

    "Despite its shortcomings, the present specimen is an entirely suitable example of this great American rarity. Lightly cleaned long ago, long since retoned in smoky golden gray, lilac, and electric blue."



    At the VF grade level, impaired 1794 dollars exist alongside examples with "original" fields and devices in about equal numbers. Not surprisingly, the price differential is substantial between coins with original surfaces vs. the many pieces with impairments. More than 40% of coins at the VF or lower grade levels show some degree of post-Mint damage and/or cleaning -- many, like this coin, with slight microporosity in the fields.

    The coin is a bit glossy from cleaning and light polishing, with a blush of pleasing orange patina across the central devices. A series of Mint-made planchet voids exist along the left obverse and reverse margins, with adjustment marks visible along the left reverse margin, where TED STATES weakens in those areas. The most noticeable planchet voids exist between T and E in UNITED, and directly opposite between obverse stars 5 and 6. An old effort to fill those voids is seen under a loupe. A rather heavy rim bump at star 5 and a prominent reverse rim notch just below 9 o'clock are the most obvious marks, while a flat spot on the rim above TE of STATES accompanies weakening of the upper dentils as often seen on 1794 dollars. A trivial, minor raised area is seen in the dentils below 7 in the date. The date itself is fully visible, albeit a trifle weak at the lower parts of 94. The left side stars are softly struck but entirely formed to indicate only minor misalignment of the dies.

    In spite of its noted indignities and repairs, this 1794 dollar displays plentiful sharpness for the midgrade level, and it is destined to be a milestone acquisition for any collector seeking the widely-sought and historic first-year issue.
    Ex: The Orlando Sale (Stack's, 1/2007), lot 781; Baltimore Sale (Bowers and Merena, 3/2007), lot 5001.
    From The McDonald Family Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The McDonald Family Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    20th-23rd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 33
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,139

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