The finest known 1794 Flowing Hair silver
dollar, which brought a record $7.85 million for a single coin in a
private transaction in 2010, is scheduled to cross the auction block
Certified as Specimen 66 by Professional Coin
Grading Service and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp. as being
exceptional for the grade, the 1794 Flowing Hair, Silver Plug silver
dollar coin is perhaps the highlight of the portion of the Cardinal
Collection to be offered as part of Stack’s Bowers Galleries New York
Americana Sale Jan. 22 to 24.
The event’s Rarities Night, during which the
Cardinal Collection is offered, will be held Jan. 24 in the Le Parker
Méridien Hotel, 119 W. 56th St. All other sessions of the auction will
be held at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, 123 W. 57th St., in Manhattan.
Among the other top highlights featured in the
Cardinal Collection are the finest known 1792 half disme, graded Mint
State 68 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.; a 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain,
AMERICA, No Periods cent graded PCGS MS-65 brown and stickered by CAC;
and a 1793 Flowing Hair, Wreath, Vine and Bars cent graded PCGS MS-69 brown.
Early U.S. focus
The Cardinal Collection Educational
Foundation, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., was established in 1999 with
private donations as a nonprofit entity to foster numismatic education
via online and print media as well as public displays.
Central to the collection, assembled by Martin
Logies, are the nation’s two earliest silver coins — the 1794 silver
dollar and the 1792 half disme.
Logies — a numismatic researcher, early dollar
specialist, and author of The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of
1794 — operates and represents the foundation and is curator for
The collection is complemented by an
assemblage of large cents that hold the No. 1 spots in multiple
categories on both the PCGS and NGC Set Registry charts.
The content of the Cardinal Collection is
continually changing. Hundreds of other U.S. coins are in the
collection, along with foreign coins that circulated contemporary to
them. The concentration is on early U.S. issues.
First U.S. silver dollar?
The collection’s 1794 Flowing Hair, Silver
Plug silver dollar, Bolender 1, (The Early United States Dollars
from 1794 to 1803 by Milferd H. Bolender), is the only example
containing a silver plug among the 140 to 150 examples of 1794 dollars
Logies estimates are extant.
The silver plug was added to the underweight
planchet at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia to bring the planchet up to
In total, 1,758 silver dollars are recorded as
struck on a hand-turned screw press at the Philadelphia facility Oct.
15, 1794, the only day of production for dollars that year.
Logies contends the silver for the 1794
dollars was provided by David Rittenhouse, the first U.S. Mint director.
The 1794 Flowing Hair, Silver Plug dollar was
purchased May 14, 2010, by the Cardinal Collection Educational
Foundation from Stephen L. Contursi, president of Rare Coin
Wholesalers, Irvine, Calif.
Contursi has long contended the Silver Plug
dollar represents the first example of the Flowing Hair silver dollar
struck in 1794, although no documented evidence supports that claim.
Logies claims, however, that significant circumstantial evidence backs
Previous owners of the coin include numismatic
luminaries Col. E.H.R. Green, Will W. Neil, and Texas newspaper
publisher Amon Carter Sr.
The 1792 half disme being offered is the
finest example certified by either PCGS or NGC. It is attributed as
Judd 7 in United States Pattern Coins, Experimental & Trial
Pieces by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers.
The example to be offered is suggested to have
had a provenance beginning with ownership by Rittenhouse.
Closely related to the proposed coinage of
1792 at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, in a Nov. 6, 1792, address to
Congress, President George Washington refers to the 1792 half disme as
a regular issue of the U.S. Mint.
Some 1,500 examples were reportedly struck.
The pertinent segment of Washington’s address
is quoted in the 1998 book, Federal Half Dimes: 1792-1837 by
Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey.
Two popular stories concerning production of
the 1792 half dismes have fueled strong demand among advanced collectors.
One is that Washington contributed some of his
own silverware for melting to be converted into coin blanks. The other
is that the Liberty portrait on the coin’s obverse is based on a
likeness of the first president’s wife, Martha.
One of only four PCGS gem-certified 1793
Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA, No Periods cents, Sheldon 2 (Penny
Whimsy by William H. Sheldon), the example in the Cardinal
Collection has among its previous owners noted large cent collector
Roy E. “Ted” Naftzger Jr.
Naftzger, Dr. Sheldon, and Chicago beer baron
Virgil Brand were among the previous owners of the 1793 Flowing Hair,
Wreath cent, S-9, with the Vine and Bars ornamentation on the edge.
Other highlights to be offered from the
Cardinal Collection include these cents:
➤ 1794 Liberty Cap, Head of 1793 cent, S-18B,
PCGS MS-64 brown, CAC.
➤ 1794 Liberty Cap, Head of 1795 cent, S-67,
PCGS MS-67 red and brown.
➤ 1795 Liberty Cap, Plain Edge cent, S-78,
PCGS MS-65 brown.
➤ 1797 Draped Bust, Reverse of 1797, Stems
cent, PCGS MS-65 red and brown, CAC.
➤ 1801 Draped Bust, 1/100 over 1/000 cent,
S-221, PCGS MS-63 red and brown.
➤ 1835 Coronet, Head of 1836 cent, Newcomb 14
(United States Copper Cents 1816-1857 by Howard Newcomb), PCGS MS-65
red and brown, CAC.
➤ 1839 Coronet, Booby Head cent, N-11, PCGS
MS-66 red and brown, CAC.
Redeployment of assets
Logies said the decision was made to liquidate
this segment of the Cardinal Collection now because the 94 coins to be
offered have served their educational purposes for the foundation.
Logies said also that collectors and dealers
were making significant inquiries for the material, at prices that
could not be ignored.
Logies said net funds generated from the
January sale will be reinvested into other collecting areas.
The 94-coin offering includes the two silver
rarities, large cents by date and major variety, small cents by type,
and a number of cent patterns that bridge the gap between large and
For more information about the New York
Americana Sale, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries toll free on the West
Coast at 800-458-4646 or on the East Coast at 800-566-2580. Email the
firm at firstname.lastname@example.org
the company’s website at www.stacksbowers.com