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Is 1804 Dollar really #1 greatest coin?

gschwernkgschwernk Posts: 338 ✭✭✭✭✭

I have trouble understanding why this coin is almost always voted #1 greatest coin. To my knowledge there are 15 copies known so not super rare. The coin was not regularly issued. It was struck long after 1804 and it was not even a restrike. Why not 1822 $5 3 known or 1861 $20 Paquet 2 known both regular issued coins.

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    TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,589 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1804 is famous for being famous. It may have been the first rock star of the coin world so tradition keeps it number one. If you look at the book there are not a lot of dealers who participate in the voting. In many ways it’s not unlike the AP or Coach’s poll in football. There’s always some debate about who is number one.

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,480 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 4:32AM

    The 1804 Dollar has an interesting history. Read The Fantastic 1804 Dollar book. What do the 1822 half eagle and the 1861 Paquet double eagle have?

    Almost all of the 1822 coins were sent to Europe and virtually all of them have been melted. There is not much more to say.

    The die for the Paquet coin was cut by an engraver who produced wonderful dies for medals, but who couldn’t seem to get it right for regular issue coins. (Second example, 1859 half dime) The coins were recalled before they were issued at Philadelphia and a larger number escaped from San Francisco.

    The 15 examples of the 1804 Dollar are divided between three minor varieties. About half were struck circa 1834, for diplomatic purposes, and the other half were struck, apparently clandestinely, in the 1850s. One of those, admittedly off the collector market in the Smithsonian, was struck over a Swiss shooting tallar with the host coin undertype showing. There many interesting stories there.

    Rarity is not everything.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,029 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 5:22AM

    @gschwernk said:
    I have trouble understanding why this coin is almost always voted #1 greatest coin. To my knowledge there are 15 copies known so not super rare. The coin was not regularly issued. It was struck long after 1804 and it was not even a restrike. Why not 1822 $5 3 known or 1861 $20 Paquet 2 known both regular issued coins.

    How do you define “greatest” coin? How much weight do you give it’s rarity, beauty, history, importance, quality, fame (or infamy) and the story that accompanies it? All other considerations being equal, should a pattern or a clandestinely made piece be given equal consideration?

    By the way, I consider the 1861 Paquet $20 a variety and wouldn't put it anywhere close to the top of the list.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with Mark Feld. It depends on your definition of “greatest.” With that said, the 1804 Dollar has been long known as the King of U.S. coins. If I am not mistaken, it consistently held the top spot for most valuable U.S. coin until the mid-2000s.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gschwernk said:
    Why not 1822 $5 3 known or 1861 $20 Paquet 2 known both regular issued coins.

    Why not the unique 1870 s half dime in private hands?

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    ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭

    What happened to the 1804 in the third edition of the 100 greatest? Fourth place???

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    mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 5:03AM

    I have trouble understanding why this coin(1804 dollar) is almost always voted #1 greatest coin

    This coin's significance has always been pumped.This is America. Biggest,best,greatest, or whatever else superlatives one can think of to describe an item will always try to jump to the front of the parade.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

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    BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    famous, yes. I think the J-1776 would by my pinnacle

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1870-S G$3 has my vote since it's the only regular issue US gold coin that's UNIQUE.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    The 1870-S G$3 has my vote since it's the only regular issue US gold coin that's UNIQUE.

    Are you saying that you equate “greatest” solely with “rarest regular issue”, or were there other considerations in your vote?

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are different ways to define great. Age, scarcity, uniqueness, condition, mint.... Until, and unless, the term 'great' is assigned a numismatic definition, and accepted by the numismatic community at large, then debates will continue and the candidates will change. Like much of the human endeavor, it is a matter of opinion. Cheers, RickO

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @PerryHall said:
    The 1870-S G$3 has my vote since it's the only regular issue US gold coin that's UNIQUE.

    Are you saying that you equate “greatest” solely with “rarest regular issue”, or were there other considerations in your vote?

    I was expressing an opinion. It's the rarest US gold coin and there is only one. Rarity trumps all other considerations in my opinion. Other coins my be more famous due to publicity and hype but actual rarity is the most important consideration to me.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,029 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 5:38AM

    @PerryHall said:

    @MFeld said:

    @PerryHall said:
    The 1870-S G$3 has my vote since it's the only regular issue US gold coin that's UNIQUE.

    Are you saying that you equate “greatest” solely with “rarest regular issue”, or were there other considerations in your vote?

    I was expressing an opinion. It's the rarest US gold coin and there is only one. Rarity trumps all other considerations in my opinion. Other coins my be more famous due to publicity and hype but actual rarity is the most important consideration to me.

    Thanks for the reply. Would you have a different opinion if the 1870-S $3 were in terrible condition, as in scrubbed exhibiting graffiti or with a hole in it? I guess that’s my way of questioning rarity as THE overriding consideration. 😉

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd have to toss a plug in for the 1849 Double Eagle even though the odds of it being available to a private collector are as long as a leap to the moon.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Greatest" equals "Auction Hype".

    All glory is fleeting.
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    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This assumes, of course, you mean #1 Greatest US Coin.

    Nah ... besides being valuable, it's has little appeal (to me).* Same with the 1913 nickel. I think the 09-SVDB and the 55 DDO cents are much greater coins. Those little pennies have inspired the dreams of generations of collectors who believed they could own one ... or better yet, find one.

    It all depends on how one defines the squishy term of "great."

    If I had "unlimited" financial means and could buy an 1804 dollar, it would be low on my list, well behind other US coins that many others would find mundane (e.g. 1817/4 CBH plus the other 5 Overton varieties I need; 1876-CC 20c).

    But that's what makes this hobby so great ... tons of choices at all levels of availability and affordability.

    *I always enjoyed watching visitors to the Money Museum/Conventions who would ooh and aah over the 1804 $1 and 1913 5c displays, knowing the coins were worth millions. Other than the "price," the public had minimal interest. However, if the group had a collector amongst them, they would share stories of the coins they always liked and searched for as a kid. The number one coin? 1909-S VDB cent.

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 8:03AM

    @291fifth said:
    "Greatest" equals "Auction Hype".

    Like the “supernova” sea salvage coin? 😂

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    gschwernkgschwernk Posts: 338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @gschwernk said:
    I have trouble understanding why this coin is almost always voted #1 greatest coin. To my knowledge there are 15 copies known so not super rare. The coin was not regularly issued. It was struck long after 1804 and it was not even a restrike. Why not 1822 $5 3 known or 1861 $20 Paquet 2 known both regular issued coins.

    How do you define “greatest” coin? How much weight do you give it’s rarity, beauty, history, importance, quality, fame (or infamy) and the story that accompanies it? All other considerations being equal, should a pattern or a clandestinely made piece be given equal consideration?

    By the way, I consider the 1861 Paquet $20 a variety and wouldn't put it anywhere close to the top of the list.

    For most of my life I was a stamp collector. I always considered rarity to be the most important factor. I never purchased an inverted jenny since I consider the stamp very expensive for a not very rare stamp. Other than the single block about 90 copies exist. I owned a number of US stamps of less than 20 are known almost all cost less than an inverted jenny. A great example of how much fame affects price. A number on non collectors have purchased the jenny as a trophy. I assume this also happens with trophy coins. I am still trying to form my own mind about what makes a coin great. BTW , I don't consider the 1861 Paquet a variety but rather a recalled regular issue much akin to the 1873-cc No arrows dime which also could be considered the greatest coin since it is unique and in private hands.

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    earlyAurumearlyAurum Posts: 718 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rarity is only part of the equation. Story and history impact the way people view the importance of a coin or any collectible for that matter. The more i hear about the topic, which is more regularly debated lately, the more i find the 1933 DE appealing as the "greatest" US coin. I would wager that it will surpass the $10mm mark too.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What about this rare error penny I found in the 7-11 parking lot...

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    HigashiyamaHigashiyama Posts: 2,152 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree with @BillJones on the lore of the 1804. If it is being offered, I'll take the King of Siam coin.

    But ... are there really any "great" coins? Are there really "great" collectors and collections? I think there are accomplished collectors and impressive collections, but, great? I'd leave that term for artists and athletes and mathematicians and (very occasionally) statesmen.

    Higashiyama
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    WCCWCC Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    By the way, I consider the 1861 Paquet $20 a variety and wouldn't put it anywhere close to the top of the list.

    Same here.

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    WCCWCC Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gschwernk said:

    BTW , I don't consider the 1861 Paquet a variety but rather a recalled regular issue much akin to the 1873-cc No arrows dime which also could be considered the greatest coin since it is unique and in private hands.

    I'd think the first criteria for a coin to be rated "greatest" is that most collectors actually remember the coin exists. Few collectors are likely to know anything about either coin except that it is in the Red Book. They possibly don't even remember either exist without being reminded either.

    Many aspire to at least temporarily own an 1804 dollar. Very few collectors likely care about owning either of these two (I'd say almost none).

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    WCCWCC Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @astrorat said:
    *I always enjoyed watching visitors to the Money Museum/Conventions who would ooh and aah over the 1804 $1 and 1913 5c displays, knowing the coins were worth millions. Other than the "price," the public had minimal interest. However, if the group had a collector amongst them, they would share stories of the coins they always liked and searched for as a kid. The number one coin? 1909-S VDB cent.

    The price trend over the last six decades makes it evident that the relative preference for the 09-S VDB and similar coins has declined noticeably. It may still be #1 as you say but it's still going downhill.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 9:20AM

    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @amwldcoin said:
    I'd have to toss a plug in for the 1849 Double Eagle even though the odds of it being available to a private collector are as long as a leap to the moon.

    Isn't it a pattern rather than a regular issue coin?

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @amwldcoin said:
    I'd have to toss a plug in for the 1849 Double Eagle even though the odds of it being available to a private collector are as long as a leap to the moon.

    Isn't it a pattern rather than a regular issue coin?

    It is but patterns are included in the list.

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    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WCC said:

    @astrorat said:
    *I always enjoyed watching visitors to the Money Museum/Conventions who would ooh and aah over the 1804 $1 and 1913 5c displays, knowing the coins were worth millions. Other than the "price," the public had minimal interest. However, if the group had a collector amongst them, they would share stories of the coins they always liked and searched for as a kid. The number one coin? 1909-S VDB cent.

    The price trend over the last six decades makes it evident that the relative preference for the 09-S VDB and similar coins has declined noticeably. It may still be #1 as you say but it's still going downhill.

    What do you mean by relative preference ... and compared with what?

    I am not in the "price equals greatness" camp, so price trends don't mean that much to me.

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
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    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @MFeld said:

    @PerryHall said:
    The 1870-S G$3 has my vote since it's the only regular issue US gold coin that's UNIQUE.

    Are you saying that you equate “greatest” solely with “rarest regular issue”, or were there other considerations in your vote?

    I was expressing an opinion. It's the rarest US gold coin and there is only one. Rarity trumps all other considerations in my opinion. Other coins my be more famous due to publicity and hype but actual rarity is the most important consideration to me.

    Thanks for the reply. Would you have a different opinion if the 1870-S $3 were in terrible condition, as in scrubbed exhibiting graffiti or with a hole in it? I guess that’s my way of questioning rarity as THE overriding consideration. 😉

    It already has graffiti. If it had a hole, wouldn't it still be the finest known? ;)

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @PerryHall said:

    @amwldcoin said:
    I'd have to toss a plug in for the 1849 Double Eagle even though the odds of it being available to a private collector are as long as a leap to the moon.

    Isn't it a pattern rather than a regular issue coin?

    It is but patterns are included in the list.

    If patterns are included, I'd pick the Judd-1776 G$20, the 1849 G$20 as a close second, and the gold $50 Half Union as a close third.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 9:38AM

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,682 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Greatness and fame are two different things.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In the Hobby of Kings, the 1804 dollar was struck only for Kings.

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    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

    There is no doubt the dollar has a pretty good story.

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
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    WCCWCC Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @astrorat said:

    What do you mean by relative preference ... and compared with what?

    I am not in the "price equals greatness" camp, so price trends don't mean that much to me.

    I am not just referring to your perception or mine.

    It's not the absolute price I am using as evidence, but the relative price change over time. A coin with an increasing or even stable preference doesn't lose noticeable value, especially in a series as widely collected as this one. My 1965 Red Book lists it at $335 in "UNC". Depending upon what you consider a comparable coin (I use MS-63 BN), it's lost in the vicinity of 50% of it's value, adjusted for price changes.

    The best indication of collector preference is how they spend their money, especially with a coin like this one where there certainly is no supply constraint. It's evident in how collectors spend their money now versus decades past (especially the 1960's) that a noticeably higher proportion would rather buy something else.

    If what I am telling did not reflect a change in perception, then the price would have performed noticeably better.

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    tcollectstcollects Posts: 838 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm an 1802 half dime man and I'm confident in my masculinity

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    mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Greatness and fame are two different things

    Very true. See and hear this all the time with singers. The greatest singers are not necessarily famous. And, some of the most famous are not really all that good. Opinion.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1804 $1 has a good story and gets lots of real estate in the Red Book,
    which creates childhood memories and dreams. :smile:

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    3keepSECRETif2rDEAD3keepSECRETif2rDEAD Posts: 4,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ...it is what it is...I want one ;)

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    bidaskbidask Posts: 13,860 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would rather own early proof gold condition census .

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

    There is no doubt the dollar has a pretty good story.

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

    There is no doubt the dollar has a pretty good story.

    When you need a story to justify a coin’s price, caveat emptor.

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2021 10:04AM

    I appreciate everyone’s interest in the 1804, but it doesn’t do much for me. If you gave me one, I’d take it, but even if I had means to play in those waters it wouldn’t be high on my list. I see it as a top 10 or 20 coin, but I see no particular reason it should be number one. I’ve seen a few over the years. They look pretty like any other bust dollar.

    It’s sort of like the 100 most beautiful women in the world articles that come out every so often. Clearly I don’t see that the same way the people trying to sell magazines do.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 7:54PM

    @cameonut2011 said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

    There is no doubt the dollar has a pretty good story.

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:

    @astrorat said:

    @Zoins said:
    Given what is known now, should the 1794 specimen dollar be greater?

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell
    2. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies
    3. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    4. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/5728/dollars/flowing-hair/1794-P/silver-plug/

    What is speculated, aka the story:

    1. First silver dollar ever struck by US.

    Pretty good known and speculation if you ask me.

    There is no doubt the dollar has a pretty good story.

    When you need a story to justify a coin’s price, caveat emptor.

    I think that’s the case for almost anything much over intrinsic value, except toners which are sold on looks.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2021 9:29PM

    @Zoins said:

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell

    Artificially so. IIRC correctly, anything beyond $4-$5 million was someone effectively bidding against himself.

    1. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies

    The difference between early strike PL and specimen is very blurry especially for early federal coinage. We can all agree it is a nice early strike.

    1. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    2. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    The original mintage was 1,758 so all were likely struck from the same dies. Only one die marriage is known if I am not mistaken. Dies are routinely polished before use. Some coin has to come first. Most of the mintage (PCGS estimates 150/1758 survive) was lost through attrition so we don’t know what most of the mintage looked like.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2021 2:39AM

    @cameonut2011 said:

    @Zoins said:

    Why? What is known, or what is speculated?

    What is known:

    1. Most expensive coin to sell

    Artificially so. IIRC correctly, anything beyond $4-$5 million was someone effectively bidding against himself.

    Maybe, but it's still true as someone paid that price.

    1. Only specimen grade 1794 dollar using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies

    The difference between early strike PL and specimen is very blurry especially for early federal coinage. We can all agree it is a nice early strike.

    Have you examined these coins?

    1. Only 1794 dollar without die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments
    2. Only plugged 1794 dollar

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Have you seen or header of another plugged 1794 dollar?

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    The original mintage was 1,758 so all were likely struck from the same dies. Only one die marriage is known if I am not mistaken. Dies are routinely polished before use. Some coin has to come first. Most of the mintage (PCGS estimates 150/1758 survive) was lost through attrition so we don’t know what most of the mintage looked like.

    If this coin is struck like the copper die trials and no other silver specimens are, what conclusion would you draw?

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    GoBustGoBust Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for giving a shout for a half dollar. The 1817/4 is of course renowned and was the last coin Eliasberg obtained to complete his set. He apparently had ignored the 1930s description of its discovery, but when Al Overton rediscovered the variety, he then added the finest of two known to his set. Sheridan Downey at sheridanscoins.com lot 102 under current mail bid sale had the orginal telegram to Eliasberg from Overton and Eliasberg letter paying for the finest known 1817/4 capped bust half dollar. I was able to purchase the lot to reunite it with the Eliasberg 1817/4. I thought it was pretty neat.

    I think the earlier coins have an advantage in the minds of collectors. As a child, I was always looking for the 1909-S VDB, but listened to tales of the 1804 dollar. Never thought much about unique 1870-S half dimes or three dollar gold pieces. My scientific mind always thought the half dime stopper was a relative bargain to the others, its diminutive size attacking a bit fewer but more passionate following. As an aside, Tom Bender let me hold her and get a photograph with his cool half dime. So far, its the only one of the three unique coins that I had a chance to play with in hand.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2021 7:48AM

    @Zoins said:

    @cameonut2011 said:

    This coin is in the exact same die state as the copper trial dies and was struck using perfectly aligned and newly polished/burnished dies. All 1794 pieces have die clashing/lapping and/or slight die misalignments - with the exception of just this one piece.

    The original mintage was 1,758 so all were likely struck from the same dies. Only one die marriage is known if I am not mistaken. Dies are routinely polished before use. Some coin has to come first. Most of the mintage (PCGS estimates 150/1758 survive) was lost through attrition so we don’t know what most of the mintage looked like.

    If this coin is struck like the copper die trials and no other silver specimens are, what conclusion would you draw?

    Again, you're reading a lot more into this than is there. Based on the evidence, we can conclude that the coin was an early strike and was struck a short time after trial strikes before any die clashing or substantial die wear. The other 1757 pieces (or at least the extant population) were struck using the same dies. When dies are first used, the dies are heavily polished. Early strikes also tend not to have die clashes. In short, what you describe is what one would expect from an early strike/proof like piece.

    The fact that this is an early strike and proof like makes it highly desirable and worth a premium. This is not the same as it being a "specimen," "special strike," "presentation piece," or the like. In the absence of any documentation or other evidence to corroborate it, the coin is indistinguishable from what any early strike/PL piece would look like. Special designations and the story are pure speculation and marketing.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins - In the grander scope of the conversation, what I am also saying is that the ranking of "greatest coins" should be based on the entire issue and not a single exemplar/condition rarity. Just as I would not base the ranking of the 1804 dollar on the Childs Class I PF68 example or the 1913 V nickel on the Eliasberg PF66 alone, I wouldn't base the position of the 1794 purely based on the condition rarity that Bruce's coin represents. It is a PL/early strike, but not otherwise in a "class of its own." There is certainly a place for 1794 dollars in the list of 100 greatest coins, but I don't think it is reasonable to place it at #1 on the basis of Bruce's single example.

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    tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,147 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2021 9:18AM

    @cameonut2011 said:
    @Zoins - In the grander scope of the conversation, what I am also saying is that the ranking of "greatest coins" should be based on the entire issue and not a single exemplar/condition rarity. Just as I would not base the ranking of the 1804 dollar on the Childs Class I PF68 example or the 1913 V nickel on the Eliasberg PF66 alone, I wouldn't base the position of the 1794 purely based on the condition rarity that Bruce's coin represents. It is a PL/early strike, but not otherwise in a "class of its own." There is certainly a place for 1794 dollars in the list of 100 greatest coins, but I don't think it is reasonable to place it at #1 on the basis of Bruce's single example.

    Agree

    It would be interesting to attempt such a list. My specific coin would be very near the top.

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