Many collectors would be envious of any owner of an 1804 dollar, but add in the profit David Queller made while he owned it and the crowd of admirers gets even larger.
When auctioneer Leo Frese closed out the bidding on Lot 2089 of the Heritage sale of the Queller Family Collection not long before 7:30 p.m. April 17 in Rosemont?s Stephens Convention Center, the final price, including the 15 percent buyer?s fee was $3,737,500.
In the 15 years Queller had owned it, the coin had risen from the purchase price of $475,000 recorded at a 1993 Stack?s auction.
It was clear from his demeaner that the historic moment and the sale of his other coins were more emotional than financial for Queller.
?You?re looking at me. My knees are still shaking,? he said almost in a whisper at the conclusion of the sale of his silver dollars.
When he had a few more seconds to compose his thoughts, he said, ?The sale is over folks and it was a great pleasure to sell them.
?It was wonderful. Everybody had a wonderful time. They got some wonderful coins and I wish them all the pleasure that I had collecting all through the years. God bless ?em.?
His son Howard called it a culmination of a generation of collecting and ?it?s just the kind of numbers you just can?t imagine.?
He recalled that his father almost did not bid on the 1804 dollar in 1993, but on the way to the auction Howard said, ?Dad, why don?t we go for the 1804 dollar??
?We never really thought we could do it. It was over our limit,? Howard said.
He told his Dad he would chip in some funds and his sisters would do the same and they would pool them.
The result: ?We just were able to eke it out and made the purchase.?
It obviously was a good buy, satisfying as a collectible and fortunate as an investment.
Ordinarily, the buyer would share the spotlight, but since it was purchased by an anonymous Internet bidder, all of the attention was focused on the Quellers.
David spent a few minutes accepting congratulations and autographing the auction catalog for grateful witnesses to the historical event.