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Breaking News: 1804 dollar sells for $3,737,500

An 1804 dollar sold Thursday evening, April 17, for $3,737,500 in Heritage Auction Galleries
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An 1804 dollar sold Thursday evening, April 17, for $3,737,500 in Heritage Auction Galleries? sale at the Central States Numismatic Society show.

Numismatic News Editor Dave Harper was in the auction room during the bidding ? click here to read his blog post.

The price includes buyer?s fee. The winning bidder participated via the Internet while the floor sale was being conducted in Rosemont, Ill.

The Class I 1804 dollar was consigned to Heritage?s Central States sale as part of the David Queller family collection. This example is currently called the Mickley-Hawn-Queller piece.

A total of 15 1804 dollars are known. Eight of those are called Class I, meaning they were the original strikes in 1834-1835 for presentation proof sets. Heritage catalogers said three of those eight reside in museum collections, leaving five Class I 1804 dollars in private collections.

The Mickley-Hawn-Queller piece was graded Proof-62 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Heritage catalogers wrote: ?The Mickley-Hawn-Queller piece, as the pedigree on the NGC holder states, is superior to the Mint Cabinet specimen and the Cohen coin, but does not rate as highly as the Sultan of Muscat, King of Siam, Stickney, Dexter, or Parmelee examples. While this specimen is not the finest known 1804 dollar, the Class I issue is so rare and famous that the relative ranking of a particular survivor diminishes in importance.?

Here is the pedigree supplied in the Heritage sale catalog: Ex Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt; unknown intermediaries; Henry C. Young, a teller at the Bank of Pennsylvania (circa 1850); Joseph J. Mickley (circa 1858); Joseph J. Mickley Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, October 1867), Lot 1676, $750; William A. Lilliendahl; Edward Cogan; William Sumner Appleton (circa 1868); Appleton estate; Massachusetts Historical Society (1905); Property of the Massachusetts Historical Society (Stack?s, October 1970), Lot 625, $77,500; Chicago collection; Reed Hawn, via Stack?s (1974); Reed Hawn collection (Stack?s, October 1993), Lot 735, $475,000; David Queller; Queller family collection.

Minimum bid was $2.4 million, or $2.76 million with buyer?s fee.

The most recent previous sale of a Class I 1804 dollar was in 2000 when the Dexter-Dunham example sold for $1,840,000, catalogers said.

Catalogers added that in 1999 the Sultan of Muscat-Brand-Childs Class I 1804 dollar, the finest known, graded Proof-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service, brought $4,140,000, a record price for a U.S. coin that has been exceeded only by the controversial 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece that sold in 2002 for $7,590,020.

Heritage?s Central States auction continued into the weekend. We expect to bring further results and highlights next week.