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Rare 1794 dollar realizes $2.8 million

 A new home was found for this 1794 silver dollar. The buyer paid $2.8 million.

A new home was found for this 1794 silver dollar. The buyer paid $2.8 million.

After great excitement and fierce bidding, $2.8 million was realized by the Lord St. Oswald specimen 1794 silver dollar when it appeared at an auction conducted by Stack’s Bowers in early August.

The famous rarity appeard at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money sale held by the firm.

Certified MS-64 by the Professional Coin Grading Service and approved by Certified Acceptance Corporation, this near-Gem is one of the finest known examples of the 1,758 silver dollars struck bearing this inaugural date, Stack’s Bowers said.

Fewer than 150 examples are thought to remain, according to the cataloger. The stunning example offered is fourth finest in the Condition Census and third finest among all Mint State 1794 Flowing Hair dollars seen by PCGS.

This specimen has a fascinating but familiar story, following the sale just two years ago of its sibling, the MS-66+ (PCGS) Lord St. Oswald-Ostheimer 1794 dollar, in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part II sale. In that September 2015 auction, the Pogue counterpart realized $4,993,750.

These two 1794 silver dollars had been obtained by English gentleman farmer William Strickland on his tour of the young United States from Sept. 20, 1794, to July 29, 1795.

During his visit, Strickland journeyed throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic, even meeting with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and with then-President George Washington at Mount Vernon.

The two coins were among a diverse group of 84 federal and pre-federal coins gathered during his 10 months in America and they remained together for the first 170 years of their existence, until they were offered as part of the Lord St. Oswald cabinet by Christie’s in 1964.

Another 1794 dollar was sold by the firm in this year’s auction season. An AU-58+ (PCGS) CAC Miles-Blue Moon example went for just under $1 million this past March.

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• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .

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