Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 36

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Lot 3008

1794. BB-1, B-1 Very Rare. PCGS graded VF-35 .PQ. Light to medium uneven grey toning on both sides. Better than average strike. Nice full date. Very few adjustment marks which normally plaque this date. Choice for the grade. Should be resubmited for upgrade. Compared to the 1794 dollar in NCS sharpness of EF, this coin has better details.

The silver dollars of 1794 are from a single pair of dies cut by Robert Scot, hired in November 1793 as Engraver on the basis of his work on bank-note plates. The head of Liberty is a copy of his 1794 cents, but without the cap. The planchets used on these coins were made from part of the Bank of Maryland's bullion deposit of July 18, 1794: 94,532 ounces of French minor coins containing 69,692.4 ounces silver; this had to be brought up to 900 Fine. (A good portion of the bullion used to strike coins in those days came from melted foreign coins.)

Because no press heavy enough for dollars had yet been built for the Mint, these heavy, thick coins were struck on the largest one at hand -- that originally were meant for cents and half dollars. Because so many of the new dollars were poorly struck, they were at once criticized for weakness of impression: "the touches of the graver are too delicate, and there is a want of that boldness of execution which is necessary to durability and currency" said the New Hampshire Gazette of December 2, 1794. The fault, however, was less in the die than in press weakness and axial misalignment. On most survivors, obverse and reverse dies were in nonparallel planes, making the left side of the coin weaker, especially at the date and the first star on obverse and with UNITED STATES also weak on the reverse. The present coin has much better definition in these areas and is recommended for this reason. In fact, specimens with all these details clear are very rare, forming only a tiny minority. The mintage figure of 1,758 is thought to represent the acceptable remainder of (probably) 2,000 coined on Oct. 15, 1794, the remaining impressions (242?) being rejected imperfectly made, and retained in the Coiner's Vault for subsequent use as planchets according to Julian {1978}, p. 51. (There is a single example of 1795 showing traces of overstriking on one of these weak 1794 dollars, according to the Breen encyclopedia.) (PCGS # 6851) .
Estimated Value $200,000 - 240,000.

Realized $241,500

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