How Much is a Silver Dollar Worth?

1794 U.S. Silver Dollar Breaks Records

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1794 Flowing Hair graded SP-66 sold for a reported $12 million by private treaty. GETTY IMAGES / CHANAYUT SANSRI/EYEEM; COURTESY GREATCOLLECTIONS.COM

How much is a silver dollar worth? An exceedingly rare silver dollar coin minted in 1794 has been sold for a world-record $12 million. Collector Bruce Morelan sold the coin to GreatCollections.com, an online coin auction firm. Many experts believe that this example is the first silver dollar struck by the United States.

Only about 140 examples of this specific coin exist today out of the original mintage of 1,758. This is the only 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar designated “Specimen” by independent certifier Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), which assigned a grade of SP-66.

It’s also verified as to its grade by the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), a third-party coin grading verification service founded in 2007 by John Albanese. CAC evaluates vintage U.S. coins already certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) and PCGS.

How Much is a Silver Dollar Worth? - Prior Transactions

This highly-publicized coin was the first to break the $10 million mark, selling for $10,016,875 in a 2013 public auction. Three years earlier, it reportedly sold by private treaty for $7.85 million.

In both prior transactions, it set the record for the highest price paid for a coin until the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle was sold at public auction in 2021 for $18.9 million. Before Morelan, the coin was owned by prominent numismatists Virgil Brand, Col. E.H.R. Green, W.W. Neil and both Amon Carter, Senior and Junior.

Industry Reaction

Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections. com said that he considers this coin to be “America’s most coveted silver dollar,” and that it gave him “chills closing the transaction.”

Albanese, CAC’s founder, reported that he negotiated the transaction on behalf of Morelan and that the historic transaction “took just days to complete.” Albanese, who founded NGC and co-founded PCGS said: “I’m very pleased to be involved in this deal, officially the highest price paid for any CAC-approved coin in a private transaction, and I know it’s bittersweet for Bruce to pass the torch to the next owner.”

This was the second record-breaking 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar purchased by GreatCollections.com. At an American Numismatic Association auction in August 2021, GreatCollections.com paid $6.6 million for another example.

That coin ranks as the seventh-highest price ever paid for a coin at public auction.

This story about what is a silver dollar worth previously appeared in COINage magazine. Click here to subscribe. Story by Scott A. Travers.

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