PCGS Coin of the Week: 1804 Draped Bust Dollar

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The 1804 Draped Bust Dollar is the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) Coin of the Week. There is perhaps no coin more popular or celebrated in the annals of numismatics than the 1804 Draped Bust dollar.

About the 1804 Draped Bust Dollar

Originally minted in the mid-1830s for inclusion in special proof sets presented as diplomatic gifts to heads of state overseas, the 1804 Draped Bust dollar became an item of numismatic importance in the years that followed because of its extreme rarity and mystique. By the 1840s, the nation’s then-few collectors began seeking specimens of the 1804 Draped Bust dollar and eventually a small number of restrikes were minted for those who wanted their own examples. In all, 15 of these 1804 Draped Bust dollars were minted, including the original eight Class I specimens, a single Class II restrike, and six Class III restrikes.

Specimen Condition

Of the 15 known specimens, the finest in terms of grade and overall appearance is a Class I 1804 Draped Bust dollar that was delivered to the Sultan of Muscat in 1835. This specimen later worked its way into the cabinets of other collectors and was eventually graded by Professional Coin Grading Service, which encapsulated the valuable rarity as Proof-68, the highest grade attained by any of the 1804 Draped Bust dollars known.

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Sale Amounts

The Class I 1804 Draped Bust dollar has made many headlines over the years, including the time it set an all-time price record as the most expensive coin to have ever sold when it hammered in 1999 for $4,140,000 at a Bowers & Merena auction. That price record has since been eclipsed many times over by other coins, yet the 1804 Draped Bust dollar maintains a unique and honored place on the numismatic mantle. More recently, in August 2021, the same PCGS PR68 specimen fetched $7,680,000 at a Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction to set a new all-time record for the coin and become one of the top five most valuable coins in the world.

*Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

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