1804 Silver Dollar Realizes $3,877,500 at Auction | Silver Coins

1804 Silver Dollar Realizes $3,877,500 at Auction

pcgsOn the night of August 9, 2013, Heritage Auctions sold what is known as the “King of American Coins” at their Platinum Evening Sale prior to the ANA convention in Rosemont, IL. An “original” or Class I 1804 Silver Dollar, graded Proof-62 by PCGS realized a final price of $ three,877,500 including buyer’s premium. On the auction block was the Mickley specimen of one particular of the world’s most well-known coins, which has captivated collectors ever since the coins had been very first struck…in the 1830’s.

To the casual reader this distinct fact may require some explanation. Silver Dollars had been initial minted in the United States in 1794, and continued to be struck till 1804, when a hiatus in production began that would last over three decades. This would never ever have received a main deal of consideration considering that such production lags were typical in the early days of the United States Mint, but due to a Mint employee overlooking a straightforward truth, a accurate numismatic rarity was created.

In 1804, Silver Dollars have been struck as Mint records confirm, nevertheless they need to have been backdated, as no 1804-dated silver dollars entered commerce in the 30 years afterwards. Once again this would not have received significantly consideration, but 1834 came along and the government decided that it was time to present some foreign nations with a gift: a presentation piece of every circulating coin situation created in the United States, as per the Mint act of 1792. This meant that proofs have been struck for each 1834 concern except for the silver dollar and ten dollar gold piece, which had not been produced since 1804. For these two denominations, back-dated proofs would be struck.

Given that 1804-dated ten dollar gold pieces had truly been struck, a few additional pieces have been minted thirty years later. In the case of the silver dollars, the coins minted in 1804 had been dated a earlier year, most likely 1803. As such, in 1834, the US Mint inadvertently developed a modest number of 1804-dated silver dollars, representing the first of their type. These were assembled into presentation sets given to foreign dignitaries, with a tiny number of further pieces also created. Then, word about them sooner or later got out, and the craziness started.

Collectors wanted to get their hands on their own instance, but with the mintage in 1834 possibly significantly less than a dozen, the supply was clearly very restricted. The Philadelphia Mint struck unauthorized restrikes (as was fairly widespread during the late 1850’s till the early 1870’s) sometime in the course of 1858 and 1860, and these would grow to be recognized as the Class II (which is distinctive and overstruck on an 1857 Swiss Shooting Thaler) and Class III restrikes (of which six are recognized).

1804 Silver Dollar

The supplying by Heritage was an original Class I example whose pedigree can be traced back to the 1850’s. Reportedly it was first located in a money register at a Philadelphia bank ahead of becoming sold to noted numismatist Joseph Mickley about 1858. His collection was at some point sold in 1867 when this coin brought $ 750 at auction, a large sum of income at the time. Sold a couple of far more occasions, it resided in the collection of the Massachusetts historical society from 1905 to 1970 just before reappearing on the market place. It was integrated in 3 far more collections (an anonymous Chicago collector, the Hawn Collection, and the Queller Household Collection) before becoming bought by the consignor of the Heritage auction.

This was a very rare opportunity to obtain an 1804 Silver Dollar at auction and the cost undoubtedly attests this. Numerous 1804 silver dollars have been impounded permanently in museum collections creating public offerings significantly less frequent. Even though not the finest instance of the Class I coins, it remains a prime numismatic rarity that is well-published and will forever remain popular. Heritage Auctions devoted a 60 page auction catalog (pdf version) solely for this particular coin, an item that must prove to be a beneficial reference for future scholars of this enigmatic American coin, and it’s a catalog that is well worth picking up, even now that the coin has been sold.

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