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Record 1804 price would benefit all collectors

History will be made tonight. The Dexter example of the 1804 Bust silver dollar goes on the auction block in Baltimore.

Stack’s Bower’s is calling the fifth D. Brent Pogue Collection Auction.

The 1804 dollar is a highlight lot.

Anytime the King of American coins goes up for bids, it is history being made. Tonight it might set a record price to boot.

Catalog estimate is $3 million to $5 million.

Whatever it brings, I expect tonight or Saturday morning to see headlines about it online.

Wouldn’t it be great if the winning bid exceeded the top end of the estimate range?

Yes, I know, that there are collectors who think the great rarities get too much attention.

However, the rise and fall in the prices of the great rarities signal money entering or leaving the field of numismatics generally.

A strong price for the 1804 dollar at the Pogue auction would mean a new leg up for coin prices generally.

Such a positive pricing environment in the Stack’s Bowers sale would benefit all collectors.

In addition to its rich history, the Dexter dollar proves the degree to which collectors can get attached to their coins.

Denver businessman James V. Dexter bought it for $1,000 in 1885, but he was a nervous owner, according to the auction catalog description.

He fell for rumors that it was a fake.

He filed suit against the dealers he bought it from.

Only a sworn affidavit from Mint Superintendent A. Loudon Snowden that attested to the coin’s genuineness quieted his worries.

A later owner, William F. Dunham, stamped a tiny “D” onto cloud 7 on the reverse to mark the coin as his.

Buyer’s remorse and pride of ownership are two very recognizable traits shared by many collectors.

So even though most collectors will never be able to afford to buy an 1804 dollar, they should know that past and future owners of this coin are just like they are – greatly drawn to numismatics – but with a little more money.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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