US Coins

Market Analysis: Flowing Hair silver dollar not perfect, but desirable

Only three examples of the BB-16 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar are known and this one, graded Very Fine Details, Holed, sold for $12,000 on Jan. 22.

All images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Collectors who covet early coins from the first years of the U.S. Mint know that perfection is essentially unobtainable and are used to weighing a coin’s problems against its rarity.

Heritage’s January Florida United Numismatists auctions, held at its Dallas headquarters, offered a range of wonderful 1794 and 1795 Flowing Hair silver issues, including a 1795 Flowing Hair, Two Leaves dollar graded Very Fine Details, Holed, by Numismatic Conservation Services that sold for $12,000.

While common examples of the issue can sell for much less, this is one of just three known of the extremely rare BB-16 die marriage as listed in the Bowers-Borckardt dollar book. The BB-16 variety first emerged in a 1972 auction and the offered example was the second discovered, forming part of the Jules Reiver Collection, which Heritage sold in 2006 for $9,200.

This coin’s leading characteristic is its large hole at the top, and Heritage adds, “The silver-gray surfaces display a smattering of small roundish marks, and there are light pinscratches on the obverse field.”

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