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Silver dollar plugged twice

The first known 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar with two inserted plugs has been authenticated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and will be offered Aug. 10 by Heritage Auctions on Aug. 10, 2016.

It will be offered for sale during Heritage’s Platinum Night at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money auction in Anaheim, Calif.

Two plugs have been identified on this 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollars. Heritage Auctions www.HA.com photographs.

Two plugs have been identified on this 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollars. Heritage Auctions www.HA.com photographs.

The consignor wishes to remain anonymous.

“Many 1795 silver dollars, along with a single 1794 dollar and a small number of 1795 half dollars, show evidence of a Mint-inserted plug, apparently to achieve a correct weight for the planchet prior to striking. Today, for the first time, we have a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar that has two Mint-inserted silver plugs, one at the center of the obverse and the other at the lower reverse,” said Mark Borckardt, Heritage Senior Cataloger.

“Each of the two plugs has a diameter of about 4 millimeters.  The obverse plug is located on Liberty’s neck, tangent to the jaw line which appears through the plug.  The reverse plug is located between the ribbon ends,” he said.

A plug can be seen on Miss Liberty’s neck on the obverse.

A plug can be seen on Miss Liberty’s neck on the obverse.

Another plug can be seen on the reverse below the wreath.

Another plug can be seen on the reverse below the wreath.

The coin has been certified and graded NGC AU-53 and is designated as 1795 dollar Flowing Hair, Three Leaves variety B-5, BB-27, R-1.

“Most numismatic researchers today agree that silver plugs were added to adjust the weight of the planchets. While we don’t know the exact process used at the Philadelphia Mint in 1795, we assume an underweight planchet was pierced and a silver pin fastened to the planchet by means of smooth ‘dies’ in a screw press.  Apparently, the first plug on this coin was not enough to bring up the weight to the standard level of 26.96 grams, so a second plug was inserted,” said Borckardt.

The weight of the dual-plugged coin is 26.98 grams.

No information is available about the coin’s earlier provenance.

“This unique early American coin provides insight into the early years of the United States Mint. Its discovery 221 years after its production makes us eagerly anticipate what other numismatic treasures are still waiting to be found,” said Borckardt.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.
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