1804 Silver Dollar brings $3.29 million in US rare coin sale
A highly rare 1804 Silver Dollar has sold for $3.29 million at the Stack's Bowers Galleries in the U.S.
"No American coin is more famous, more widely desired, or more highly valued than the silver dollar of 1804," said the auction house.
"[It] is surpassingly famous both within and beyond the field of numismatics, and it is this fame that buttresses its claim as King of American Coins."
Records show that in 1804, almost 20,000 silver dollars were struck by the U.S Mint using the previous year's dies, meaning they still bore the date '1803'.
The 1804 silver dollar was in fact struck in 1834, and was never intended for circulation.
The U.S Department of State commissioned the Mint to create several proof sets of U.S coins to present to Asian rulers, as gifts to help negotiate beneficial trade deals.
These sets were to include every denomination of coin still in circulation, but silver dollars had not been produced since 1804, and even then the date on them was wrong – so a small number of 'new' silver dollars with the correct date were produced.
These proof sets were then sent overseas to Asian rulers including the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat, and were eventually broken up over the years by collectors.
Today just eight of those original 'Class 1' coins are known to exist, with three examples housed in permanent museum collections, leaving five in private hands.
The coin offered this past weekend originally caused a stir in 1885, when it was sold at auction for $1,000, becoming the first coin in history to fetch a four-figure sum.
"There is no other coin in the United States series which has such a widespread and acknowledged great value and rarity, or which adds so much numismatic glory to a collection, as the King of American rarities - the 1804 dollar," wrote auctioneer Henry Champan in the catalogue entry.
It was acquired for a record-setting sum by James V. Dexter, a wealthy, but relatively unknown numismatist who lends the specimen his name to this day.
Just over a century later, the coin rewrote the record books again, when it sold at auction in 1989 for $990,000, once more claiming the title as the world's most valuable coin.
Having passed through some of America's most notable collections throughout its history, the dollar was most recently part of the esteemed D. Brent Pogue Collection which sold at Stack's Bowers on March 31.
The record price for an 1804 Silver Dollar was set back in 1999, when the Watters-Childs specimen, which had previously belonged to the Sultan of Muscat's proof set, sold for $4.1 million.
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