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    Description

    1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, B-1, BB-1, VG10
    Low-Mintage, First-Year Key
    Unlisted in Logies

    1794 $1 B-1, BB-1, R.4, VG10 NGC. Bowers-Borckardt Die State III. Authorized by the Mint Act of 1792, the 1794 Flowing Hair dollars were the first regular-issue silver coins struck at the United States Mint (the famous 1792 half dismes were struck in John Harper's cellar before the Mint building was ready for operations and the 1792 Dismes were patterns). The long delay in striking silver coins was due to many factors, including legal and financial problems with key personnel who could not provide the exorbitant bonds required by the Mint Act, lack of silver bullion deposits, and inadequate equipment. Most of these issues were resolved by 1794, when Congress reduced the sureties required for the chief coiner and assayer, and Mint Director David Rittenhouse personally supplied 1,734.50 troy ounces of refined silver ingots for the mintage of the inaugural silver dollars.

    Unfortunately, the Mint's equipment remained inadequate to the task, as the largest available coin press was designed to strike coins of only half dollar diameter. Still, there was great pressure to produce silver dollars without delay, as much for national prestige as for economic necessity. It was decided to proceed with silver dollar coinage on the smaller coin press, despite the difficulties encountered. As a result, the dies were unevenly spaced in the press, and almost all 1794 dollars show dramatic weakness in the date and the stars on the left and the corresponding area on the reverse. About 2,000 silver dollars were struck in 1794, but several hundred examples were considered unfit for circulation and never issued. The remaining 1,758 coins were delivered on October 15, 1794. Further coinage of silver dollars was not attempted until 1795, when a larger, more powerful coin press was built.

    In The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794, Martin Logies provides an extensive census of the 1794 dollars known to present-day collectors, identifying 134 different specimens. As might be expected, this coin was not listed in Logies' exceptional study. The Reverend Doctor James G.K. McClure began collecting coins in his childhood, perhaps as early as the late 1850s, and maintained his collection until his death in 1932. He acquired his coins in an era when even important issues like the 1794 dollar were often minimally described in auction catalogs and images of lots for sale were seldom provided. As a result, modern researchers, like Jack Collins and Martin Logies, have little to go on when trying to trace the coins in these early offerings. McClure's collection was carefully stored, and never publicly offered after his death, so there are no later appearances to document the history of this piece. It's early history remains an intriguing mystery.

    This pleasing American classic shows the characteristic weakness on the lower left stars, but the date is bolder than usually seen on 1794 dollars. The surfaces are well-worn, but the central devices retain significant interior detail in Liberty's hair and the eagle's wings. A number of planchet flaws are seen on, or near, the reverse rims, but no signs of planchet adjustment marks are evident. The dove-gray surfaces are highlighted by areas of darker slate patina and show no large or distracting abrasions.
    From The Rev. Dr. James G. K. McClure Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24WY, Variety PCGS# 39972, Base PCGS# 6851)

    Weight: 26.96 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The marketing was exceptional from the photos to the ads in Civil War Times and North South Trader for the cross over people!!! I have had many emails from my Civil War collecting fraternity that saw these and I saw them at the national show in Nashville/Franklin in early December.
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