US Coins

1795 Flowing Hair dollar suited for type collector sells for $67K

A lustrous and untoned MS-61 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar brought $67,563 at a Sept. 1 auction.

All images courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers

Early silver dollars can be intimidating for a new collector for a variety of reasons. First, they’re generally expensive. An entry level Draped Bust dollar with a severe impairment, such as a hole, sets a baseline at around $500. Second, they often have problems like cleaning or tooling, and these are often deceptive.

But for the patient, Flowing Hair and Draped Bust silver dollars represent an impressive challenge with a limited range of years, an impressive number of varieties, and solid reference books to help guide collectors. 

Here is one of three early dollars that sold at the recent Ira & Larry Goldberg pre-Long Beach Auction, Aug. 31 to Sept. 1:

The coin: Mint State 61 1795 Flowing Hair dollar

The price: $67,563

The story: The 1795 Flowing Hair dollar has a recorded mintage of 160,295, although most scholars believe that the actual number of Flowing Hair dollars dated 1795 produced at the Philadelphia Mint was higher.

The issue enjoyed a relatively high survival rate, and examples in low grades are frequently seen. They are rarely encountered in Mint State and this Numismatic Guaranty Corp. MS-61 example showcases several advantageous qualities. 

The cataloger writes, “The lovely smooth planchet shimmers with originality and silvery hues that seem to be lightly frosted on the devices, giving even prettier subtle contrast against the fields.” The description adds, “A Type buyer with sophistication and discernment, someone like our consignor, would be fortunate in the extreme to have this specimen in his Type set.”

The demand for 1795 Flowing Hair dollars comes largely from type collectors, as the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar is prohibitively rare and the type was produced for just two years. The present example is of a common variety, which makes it well-suited for a type collector. 

Read the rest of Steve Roach's Sept. 22 Market Analysis:

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