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1794 silver dollar brings $1.2 million

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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A rare 1794 silver dollar sold for $1,207,500 at Bowers and Merena Auctions’ Boston Rarities Sale on Aug. 7 at Park Plaza Hotel and Towers in Boston, Mass.

“We started to see bidding activity about two weeks before the live action began with multiple bidders moving the coin from its opening bid to $750,000 where the lot opened on the live auction floor,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena.

“It then quickly moved up $300,000 at increments of $50,000. When the bid hit $1 million on Saturday, the gasp from the crowd was riveting, and with two of the four bidders live in the room, the intensity was overwhelming.”

The buyer of the coin was not named.

The seller of the rare coin, Martin Logies, author of the book The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794 and director and curator of CCEF, recently purchased the Neil/Carter/Contursi 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar for $7.85 million in a private transaction brokered by Spectrum Group International, Bower and Merena Auctions’ parent company. The sale marked a new world record price and the coin is currently being showcased by CCEF, a teaching organization, and is being shared with a wider national audience.

The silver dollar first struck in 1794 and was intended to replace the Spanish, English, Dutch and French coins that dominated local commerce. Only 140 surviving examples of the 1794 silver dollar coin are estimated throughout the world.

“Bowers and Merena welcomes the opportunity to be a part of transactions like the auction just completed for Martin Logies,” said Roberts. “Not only are these coins a marquee attraction for collectors around the world, but highly visible auctions like the one we just hosted in Boston on Saturday, raise awareness to an audience that might not be familiar with the history and value of these rare coins.”

For a complete list of coins that will be featured at upcoming Bowers and Merena Auctions, visit the firm’s Web site at www.bowersandmerena.com or call toll-free at 800-458-4646.

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