Prior to the passage of the Mint Act of 1792, varied coins were being used throughout the colonies and after that the states. Some were created by the person colonies and states or perhaps by foreign nations. Foreign coins had been used as U.S. currency well in to the 1800s, according to historians.
In contemplating the query of whether the United states of America should even consider creating its own coins, Congress was presented with a number of choices, including a contract proposal from an established foreign minter lauding its skills at producing high quality coins at low prices.
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson was assigned to evaluate that proposal, and his report to Congress in 1790 was eloquent. While recognizing the federal government would have to establish its personal mint at some cost and that initial production from that mint would be less than perfect, he rejected the strategy for foreign-minted coins on patriotic grounds.
"Coinage is peculiarly an attribute of sovereignty,"
The 1794 coin is a national treasure, a milestone of a fledgling new country. "Coinage is peculiarly an attribute of sovereignty,"
The price paid is the highest ever drawn at auction to get a single coin, based on Stack's Bowers Galleries. The prior record was $7.6 million for the sole recognized specimen of a 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle $20 gold coin. Stack's auctioned the "flowing hair" silver dollar in New York City for its owner after transporting it from Orange County in a Brinks armored truck. "To be a part of this historical occasion is nothing short of incredible,"
Legend Numismatics, a rare-coin firm primarily based in New Jersey, purchased the coin. The firm was prepared to bid higher than $10 million and has no plans to sell the coin in the near future, the company said in a statement.
Nationally-recognized silver coin expert Wayne Miller stated the consensus of the sharpest minds in the historical coin field is the fact that this coin is the earliest silver dollar recognized these days, is certainly among the first handful ever produced by the United states and is probably the first.
•A copper prototype of the first dollar exists at the Smithsonian Institution, and the two coins have an ideal die match not noticed in any known specimens of the 1794 silver dollar. Back then, considerable variations on coins showed up quickly from die wear and subsequent repair.
•Evidence on the coin shows that the silver metal disk that became the coin was polished prior to it was pressed and that the coin was immediately removed following being minted.
•Of the 135 or so 1794 silver dollars known these days, all but this specimen show evidence of die imperfections.
•The lack of practically any marks on this coin suggests it was by no means placed in circulation. It was most likely one of the "master coins" held by David Rittenhousen, the first director of the U.S. Mint, in the government's Cabinet Collection. It's speculated that a subsequent mint director traded the coin in the mid-1800s for pre-Revolutionary War coins in order to fill gaps in the mint's collection.
It shows up in records in 1890 as part of the collection of a Col. Green, and its official pedigree history begins with it becoming part of the Virgil Brand Collection in 1945. But it wasn't till this century that it was recognized as being among the first of its kind.
The coin reclaimed its perch of historical relevance thanks to the instincts of Steven Contursi, president of Uncommon Coin Wholesalers in Irvine, who bought it for $2.5 million in 2003. He believed the coin was unique - more unique than anyone thought.
Contursi, who has been collecting coins since childhood, stated the pristine hair detail, the sharpness of the stars and the mirrored surface on the coin told him that this was no ordinary coin meant for circulation. The 1794 silver dollar features a silver plug in the center, most likely is there to make certain that the weight of the coin met precise government specifications. You will find adjustment marks as well, on the right side; to even more finely tune the precise weight.
In front of the 40-millimeter coin are 15 stars about the head of Lady Liberty, with her long, flowing hair. Around the reverse side is definitely an olive tree branch along with a scrawny-looking eagle that was enhanced in subsequent silver dollar designs.
Contursi noted that every other example of the coin that collectors know of has weak stars around the left side. They are strong. The hair detail on Miss Liberty is razor sharp. Around the other side of the coin, the finely wrought breast feathers on the eagle are visible.
He knew the coin was destined for a higher purpose - to become preserved, cherished and displayed for posterity, he said.
He was right. He and other numismatists conducted forensic research around the coin and proved his hunch that it was the first or very close to the first U.S. dollar ever cast, he said.
There's a great opportunity that Washington, Hamilton and Jefferson held this coin because it was pressed at a significant, historical occasion, Contursi stated. All 1,758 of this first design of dollars minted were struck on the exact same day, he stated. That was Oct. 15, 1794.
Though he truly cherished the coin, Contursi sold it, reluctantly, for $7.85 million - more than three times what he paid for it - in a private sale to Cardinal Collection Education Foundation in 2010. "It was my favorite coin," he stated. "I never planned to sell it. But it was tough times, with plenty of debt and uncertainty. And Cardinal Collection approached me, so I sold it. Looking back, I did not have to." The Cardinal Foundation directed the coin to Stack's, which auctioned it. How high will silver go? Learn more >> http://kitco-