Heritage Auctions' Fun US Coin Signature Auction provides an exciting opportunity for numismatists in the new year, with the famed Frothingham 1794 dollar offered as top lot in Orlando.
The 1794 Flowing Hair dollar is in fantastic condition, graded XF45 by PCGS and with a bold strike. Its date and stars are sharply defined, and match the condition of the finest known examples.
An estimate has not been set for the magnificent coin in the January 9-14 sale, though another example of the coin in similar condition auctioned for $368,000 in August 2006. Heritage also previously sold an example in 2009, which brought $184,000.
The current world record for any coin is held by another example of the silver dollar in near perfect condition, which sold for $7.8m in 2010. The coin was one of the earliest ever struck and was produced with special care, warranting a PCGS grading of Specimen 66.
The 1794 Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin ever issued in the United States, with its size and weight based on the Spanish dollar that was in circulation in the Americas at the time. The decision to produce the coin followed Alex Hamilton's famed study, which saw the establishment of the nation's first mint.
Hamilton has been named the Grandfather of the 1794 Dollar, with the Mint Act of April 2, 1792 essentially following Hamilton's recommendations to the word.
The example at auction has an unusual early history, having been part of an unidentified New York collection until 1894, when it was passed to the collector's heirs and stored in their attic for several decades. In the 1970s, it was sold to Dr Frothingham, where it got its name.
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