Many American numismatic pieces, patterns and regular issues, are rarer than the 1804 silver dollar, with its population of 15 known specimens. Rama III, the King of Siam, received the second set of coins distributed by Roberts. US Silver Dollars are popular among coin collectors and investors, and one of the rarest and most popular of them all is the 1804 Silver Draped Bust Dollar. Q. I’ve got an 1804 silver dollar – where do I sell it? Besides those 1804 dollars produced for inclusion in the diplomatic sets, the Mint struck some examples which were used to trade with collectors for pieces desired for the Mint's coin cabinet. [c] The moratorium on silver dollar coinage had been lifted in 1831, but none had been coined since those issued in March 1804. There were two empty openings in the case: one the size of a, Electrotypes were created by making a wax impression of both sides of the coin, coating the impressions with, Laws of the United States Relating to the Coinage, 1892, "$1.8 Million Silver Dollar No 'Saigon Copy, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1804_dollar&oldid=997983179, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Heraldic representation of an eagle holding a scroll reading ", King of Siam Presentation Specimen/Siam Specimen, Sultan of Muscat Presentation Specimen/Watters Specimen, Driefus–Rosenthal Specimen/Rosenthal Specimen, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 05:12. [34] Based on the slightly concave appearance of the Class III dollars, it is likely that all were given edge lettering at some point after striking; as the Castaing machine was meant to be used prior to striking, its improper use resulted in a deformation of the coin surface. See how many Draped Bust dollar coins were made and what they're … [42] The coin, which is the sole known Class II specimen in existence, was struck over an 1857 Swiss shooting thaler minted for the federal shooting festival held in Bern. Unless you go to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. … The first US dollar coin with a $1 (USD) face value was the 1804 silver dollar. (The 1804 Dollar was struck only in proof and not until the mid-1830s.) This probably sounds illogical to the uninitiated, but there's really a rather simple explanation: Although they are dated 1804, all 15 of these rare silver dollars actually were minted decades later. Edmund Roberts distributed the coins in 1834 and 1835. This page addresses counterfeit dollars between 1798 and 1804. [25] The dollars included the sets bore the Draped Bust design, depicting an allegorical representation of Liberty on the obverse and a heraldic eagle on the reverse. Draped Bust silver dollars are early American coins made from 1795 through 1803. [19] Roberts was given items which were to be presented as gifts to the officials with whom he was negotiating, but described them as being of "very mean quality, and of inconsiderable value". It will save you money next time you decide to sell or buy silver dollars. Class I dollars were made around 1834. [77] Nineteenth-century stage actor John T. Raymond purchased a specimen of the coin, which was later revealed to be a forgery, for $300. [41][39] According to DuBois, five coins were known to be privately owned, of which four were recovered. [51] Interest in coin collecting and the 1804 dollars began increasing, and by 1860, the dollars saw extensive coverage by numismatists. Their high value has caused 1804 dollars to be a frequent target of counterfeiting and other methods of deception The 1804 silver dollar was called the "King of the U.S. Series" by the Chapman Brothers coin dealers as early as 1885 and to this day is known as "The King of Coins." [56] According to Spink, the set was offered to him by two women whom he believed were descendants of Anna Leonowens, tutor of the children of Rama IV (half-brother and heir of Rama III) and fictionalized protagonist of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. [40] In 1883, a Class III dollar was reportedly purchased in Vienna for $740, and a Class I specimen was auctioned for $1,000 in 1885 by Henry and Samuel H. [29] Roberts died in Macau on June 12, 1836, before he could initiate contact with any other nations. Here are the common questions we get about the 1804 dollar and the answers that many collectors are looking for…. [35], Collectors first became aware of the existence of the 1804 dollar in 1842, when a pantograph reproduction of one specimen was featured in A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations, a work authored by Mint employees Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William DuBois. [60] In 1867, numismatist W. Elliot Woodward acknowledged that 1804 dollars were struck as diplomatic gifts in 1834, but he also believed that others were struck in 1804. [76] James A. Bolen, a medallist and coin collector who created copies of valuable coins between 1862 and 1869, fabricated an 1804 dollar by altering the last digit in the date of a genuine 1803 example. Julian suggests that it could have been done to prevent angering collectors who would not have been able to acquire the 1834-dated coin for their collections; Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt, after consulting with Moore, mistakenly determined that 19,570 dollars bearing the date 1804 were struck in that year. The United States Mint government authorized the production of a handful of 1804 dollars for use in special presentation proof sets that were given as diplomatic gifts overseas. Counterfeits exist of the 1804 Silver Dollar, with some con artists and perpetrators of fraud trying to pass off coins as the real thing. [6] However, the dollars were mandated by Spanish law to contain 90.2 percent silver, and most of the unworn examples in circulation in the United States at the time contained approximately 1.75 grains (0.113 g) more than the silver dollars authorized by the Act. In Saigon and other South Vietnamese cities, as well in nearby Thailand, military personnel were offered the copies by vendors who sometimes claimed that they were family heirlooms. "[62] In 1891, numismatist John A. Nexsen wrote that the Class I 1804 dollars were "without doubt coined in 1804". There are six 1804 silver dollars in museums and nine in private hands. What’s up? They were first created for use in special proof coin sets used as diplomatic gifts during Edmund Roberts' trips to Siam and Muscat. [34] In total, eight specimens of this type are known today. They were sometimes modified to include the current date, but that practice was not universally applied. U.S. Mint records, which could be wrong, indicate that thousands of silver dollars were struck in 1804. Why are they rare? [66], From the time numismatists became aware of 1804 dollars, they have commanded high prices, both in relation to their face value and the numismatic value of other silver dollars. There are a few rare Draped Bust dollars dated 1804. Here’s a rundown on the various major types of silver dollars that have been struck since the United States Mint began making them in 1794: Flowing Hair Dollar … [20] After the treaties were ratified in the United States, Roberts had to return to Siam and Muscat to receive approval from the representatives of those nations. The 1804 class I or “original” draped bust silver dollars are widely known as the “King of American Coins”, and with good reason. [31][d][e] The dollars minted for the diplomatic gift sets, as well as other examples struck with the same dies, are collectively known as "Class I" 1804 dollars. Lately, we have experienced a sharp rise in calls from people who want to know how much their 1804 silver dollar is worth. .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{display:flex;flex-direction:column}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{display:flex;flex-direction:row;clear:left;flex-wrap:wrap;width:100%;box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{margin:1px;float:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .theader{clear:both;font-weight:bold;text-align:center;align-self:center;background-color:transparent;width:100%}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption{background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-left{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-right{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-center{text-align:center}@media all and (max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:none!important;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{justify-content:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{float:none!important;max-width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle .thumbcaption{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow>.thumbcaption{text-align:center}}, In their book The Fantastic 1804 Dollar, numismatic historians Eric P. Newman and Kenneth E. Bressett assert that a problem arose at the Mint as to how to interpret Forsyth's order. [65] The deformation of the edge lettering was caused by pressure pushing the coinage metal against the steel collar containing the coin blank. With regards to the 1804 silver dollar… [40] After the public became aware that Mint officials had permitted restrikes, there was a minor scandal which resulted in a Congressional investigation and the destruction of outdated coinage dies. Unfortunately, if you have one of these coins you should assume it is a counterfeit.. There are four known types of 1804 dollars, including the following: 1804 Second Reverse, Class III – 6 minted, 1804 Mint-Made Electrotype of Unique Plain-Edge – 4 minted. [52] In 1885, auctioneer W.E. [4] The act went on to state that the coin would be struck in an alloy consisting of 89.2 percent silver and 10.8 percent copper. Though dated 1804, none were struck in that year; all were minted in the 1830s or later. The bulk of the mintage was variously rumored to have been paid to Barbary pirates as ransom, lost at sea en route to China, and melted before leaving the Philadelphia Mint. By most estimates, 1804 dollars, on the rare occasions they do appear at auction, are worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million to $7 million depending on the individual specimen and the ever-changing conditions of the marketplace. By tradition, all are categorized as “Proofs.” They are certainly not business strikes. The finest example of the 1804 Class I silver dollar appeared at auction in 2016 and garnered a bid of more than $10 million but did not meet reserve and thus did not sell. [70] In 1960, a Class III dollar fetched $28,000 at an auction conducted by Stack's, a coin firm, and the same coin reached $36,000 at another Stack's sale in 1963. In 1999, a Class I example sold for $4.14 million, then the highest price paid for any coin. A Genuine 1804 Dollar; A Counterfeit 1804 Dollar; With the many email inquiries we receive regarding the 1804 Dollar we thought it would be helpful to show a real one against a fake. All the rest are counterfeits, and counterfeits are worth zero. [19] In addition to several other items, he requested a set of coins as an appropriate offering to Said bin Sultan: I am rather at a loss to know what articles will be most acceptable to the Sultan, but I suppose a complete set of new gold & silver & copper coins of the U.S. neatly arranged in a morocco case & then to have an outward covering would be proper to send not only to the sultan, but to other Asiatics.[21]. 1804 Second Reverse, Class II – Unique. While there is a degree of mystery behind much of what happened at the United States Mint during its first decades of operations, there is substantial evidence to suggest that all dollars recorded in the 1804 mint report were dated 1803. These are very common and are usually worth only the value of the metal used to make the coins. [35], During the nineteenth century, Mint employees produced unauthorized copies of medals and coins, sometimes backdated. [74] At the time of the sale, this was the highest price paid for any coin. [58], The fact that no 1804 dollars were struck in 1804 was not widely accepted by numismatists until the early twentieth century. From 1803 or 1804 to 1834, no silver do… Numismatists first became aware of the 1804 dollar in 1842, when an illustration of one example appeared in a publication authored by two Mint employees. The 1804 dollar or Bowed Liberty Dollar was a dollar coin struck by the Mint of the United States, of which fifteen specimens are currently known to exist. [48] In 1875, several were sold by Philadelphia coin dealer John W. [36] Although coin restrikes were created openly at the Philadelphia Mint from the 1830s, the practice became clandestine by the end of the 1850s. The collection of 1804 Silver Dollars consists of three classes. Weren’t there thousands of silver dollars made in 1804? In a November 11, 1834, letter sent to Mint Director Samuel Moore, Secretary of State John Forsyth approved Roberts' suggestion, writing: The President [Andrew Jackson] has directed that a complete set of the coins of the United States be sent to the King of Siam, and another to the Sultan of Muscat. [71] A Class I specimen brought $77,500 at a 1970 Stack's auction, and during a 1980 rise in coin prices, a Class III example sold for $400,000 by Bowers and Ruddy Galleries. The issue of when dollar coin mintage actually ceased was further confused by a later misreading of Patterson's 1806 annual report to Congress, which erroneously suggested that 321 were coined in 1805. For there are few coins in the American catalogue that have … [56] The coin was housed in a yellow leather case embossed with an eagle and other ornamentation, conforming to the description of that made for the King of Siam. [72][73] A Class I example reached $990,000 at a Superior Galleries auction in 1990, and an example once owned by coin collector Louis Eliasberg became the first 1804 dollar to surpass $1 million at auction, selling for $1,815,000 at a sale conducted by Bowers and Merena, Inc., in 1997. "[64], According to Newman and Bressett, the manner in which the 1804 dollars were produced is proof that none were struck in 1804. [7] In 1793, President George Washington signed into law a bill which declared Spanish milled dollars legal tender, provided that they weighed no less than 415 grains (26.9 g), which meant that at the lowest weight allowed by law, the Spanish dollars would contain approximately 0.5 percent less silver than the United States dollar coins. For example, many fake Trade Dollars are struck from silver and are the correct weight. The silver dollar and gold eagle, which had been previously minted in 1804, were struck once again for the presentation set. The 1804 silver dollars are also some of the rarest and most valuable of all US coins. [27] All dollars struck for inclusion in the diplomatic gift sets were likely dated 1804. In the early days of the Mint, dies were saved and reused as an economic measure. Q. Mint records from 1804 show there were 19,570 silver dollars made that year – that’s more than the 19 listed above. [36] The fifth coin, alluded to by DuBois, is not currently accounted for, although its edge may have been lettered after its recovery in an attempt to pass it as an original. [63] In 1905, he recanted his earlier assertions, stating that "no one now believes that they were coined in 1804. However, those coins, struck from old dies as was common practice at the time, were dated 1803. Silver Dollar Specimens There are 15 known specimens of the 1804 Silver Dollar in circulation. Are you concerned the precious metals train has left the station without you? 8 of which are the "Class I" specimens which were struck in 1834 as gifts to diplomats, these are known as the "original" 1804 silver dollars. [54] All fifteen extant specimens are acknowledged and studied by numismatists. Most of them are fakes, because genuine coins are so valuable. [72], The price reached an all-time high in 1999, when the finest known specimen, graded Proof-68 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, which is believed to have been the example presented to Said bin Sultan, was auctioned by Bowers and Merena for $4,140,000. [39] At least three were offered for sale by various dealers in 1859, and coin dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason claimed that he was offered three by Theodore Eckfeldt, a Mint employee and nephew of Adam Eckfeldt (who had died in 1852). Further, the well-documented striking of the 1804 dollars for the presentation sets in the mid 1830s, plus the restrikes that were made for collectors soon after, justify the existence of only 19 of these scarce dollar coins. In total, only 15 specimens are known to exist. 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