Only one is known and Numismatic Conservation Services just certified it.
The piece in question is a 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar.
It was struck from a marriage of two dies already known to variety specialists as being used separately for other pairings. Until now, evidence that this pair was actually used together did not exist.
The coin has been certified by NCS as BB-19 and B-19 and grades VG details, damaged.
Listed for years in both standard references for early dollars, its existence had not been confirmed until now.
This variety is listed in the 1993 silver dollar encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers and Mark Borckardt as variety BB-19, while the Milford Bolender book on early dollars and its 1999 update by Jules Reiver include it as number B-19.
Both works note that one example of this die marriage was reportedly a part of the Frank Stirling collection. It was dispersed decades ago, but no one in the current generation of silver dollar specialists had seen it, according to an NCS press release.
Surface problems made the coin ineligible for Numismatic Guaranty Corp. grading. NCS will certify coins that are genuine but that have such problems. This piece had reportedly been holed in the past and repaired in the field to the right of Liberty?s portrait. It also suffered gouges in the left obverse field.
One interesting feature: the coin exhibits the silver center plug found on a number of Flowing Hair silver dollars. This plug was evidently inserted prior to striking for reasons unknown.
Theories say it was done either to bring an underweight planchet up to standard or as a device to make counterfeiting more difficult.
NCS said this practice was evidently limited to a small percentage of half dollars and dollars dated 1794 and 1795, the latter date more often seen.
NCS may be contacted by writing to P.O. Box 4750, Sarasota, FL 34230 or by calling toll-free at 866-NCS-COIN (627-2646). NCS?s e-mail address is Service@NCScoin.com.