The Birth of America's First Silver Dollar

A World-Exclusive, First-Ever Proof Release

Inside the Smithsonian® Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC is a grand entrance created with an actual bank vault that cleverly entices visitors with its imposing door made of thick stainless steel. It’s the entrance to the recently opened exhibit entitled “The Value of Money” housed in the Gallery of Numismatics.

Within this veritable Shangri-La for collectors and historians are some of the rarest and most significant coins in United States history. One of the most significant is a copper coin that was produced as a test before the U.S. Mint struck its very first silver dollar in 1794. It’s the only copper pattern of the 1794 Silver Dollar ever minted. As such, it is among the most significant coins ever struck by the United States.

Now, to mark the historic 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint’s first silver dollar, the Smithsonian® has officially authorized the minting of copper, silver and gold 1794 Dollar Proofs.

America\'s First Silver Dollar

America's First Silver Dollar

While the fighting in the American Revolution effectively ended in 1781, it was not until 1794 that the United States of America struck its first silver dollar. Until then, a Colonist’s pocket change could have consisted of any combination of Spanish, French, English and Dutch coins.

But America needed its own coinage—not just as a priority for commerce, but also as a way of proclaiming its national identity. So Congress authorized silver dollar coins with the Coinage act of 1792—and established the United States Mint in the process.

Two years later, the newly-established mint in Philadelphia struck America's First Silver Dollar.

Liberty Lets Her Hair Down

Liberty Lets Her Hair Down

The obverse of the 1792 Silver Dollar features an image of Lady Liberty with long, flowing hair—a tribute to the 1781 Libertas Americana Medal partially designed by Benjamin Franklin. The reverse depicts an image that can still be found on today's circulating coinage—the mighty heraldic eagle, its wings spread wide.

Of the original 1,758-piece mintage, it's estimated that only 140 of these legendary coins survive—and those that do can bring in millions at auction.

Two years later, the newly-established mint in Philadelphia struck America's First Silver Dollar.

The Coin Worth 10 Million Dollars!

The Coin Worth 10 Million Dollars!

In 2003 a collector discovered a 1794 Silver Dollar that featured a superb strike, razor-sharp details and crisp images. He wondered if this was actually the very first 1794 Silver Dollar ever struck. To find the answer, he took the coin to the professional experts at the American Numismatic Association. After careful examination, the experts agreed that the coin probably was the first silver dollar produced by the United States! The coin was exhibited for several years until it was finally sold in 2010 for a then-world record sum of $7.85 million. For many coin experts, the price tag was not surprising. David Hall, the president of David Hall Rare Coins and the founder of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), said so few coins exist from the original 1,758 mintage that “Even if it looks like it’s been run over by a truck it would still be worth a hundred grand!”

The coin changed hands once again when it was sold for a record $10 million at auction in 2013. To put the historic sale in perspective, Q. David Bowers, one of the world’s leading numismatic experts, said that the coin’s unique features made it particularly valuable. “It is the first American metal dollar struck and the finest known. You have these combinations coming together. No museum has an equal piece!”

1794 Flowing Hair, graded PCGS SP66, ex. Neil, Carter, Contursi, Cardinal Collection, finest known (Photo Credit PCGS)

<center>A World-Exclusive, First-Ever Release</center>

A World-Exclusive, First-Ever Release

In honor of the 225th anniversary of America's First Silver Dollar, the Smithsonian® has authorized a world-exclusive, limited release of proofs modeled after this historic coin. Struck in 99.9% gold or silver as well as copper, these America's First Silver Dollar Proofs bear the same striking design, along with dual dates of 1794 and 2019 on the obverse and the Smithsonian's sunburst on the reverse.

<center>Limited Availability</center>

Limited Availability

The America's First Silver Dollar Proof is available struck in copper, silver and gold, and mintages are strictly limited. Each set comes in a deluxe package with a story card and certificates of authenticity. Don't miss this first-ever release—secure yours now!

1794-2019 Smithsonian One-Ounce America's First Silver Dollar 3-Proof Set

  • One-Ounce 99.9% Gold Proof
  • One-Ounce 99.9% Silver Reverse Proof
  • One-Ounce Copper Proof
  • Officially Authorized by the Smithsonian
  • Certified by NGC
  • Exclusive Smithsonian Labels
  • World-Exclusive, First-Ever Release
  • Only 90 Sets Available
  • 1794-2019 Smithsonian Half-Ounce/One-Ounce America's First Silver Dollar 3-Proof Set

  • Half-Ounce 99.9% Gold Proof
  • One-Ounce 99.9% Silver Reverse Proof
  • One-Ounce Copper Proof
  • Officially Authorized by the Smithsonian
  • Certified by NGC
  • Exclusive Smithsonian Labels
  • World-Exclusive, First-Ever Release
  • Only 150 Sets Available
  • 1794-2019 Smithsonian One-Ounce America's First Silver Dollar 2-Proof Set

  • One-Ounce 99.9% Silver Reverse Proof
  • One-Ounce Copper Proof
  • Officially Authorized by the Smithsonian
  • Certified by NGC
  • Exclusive Smithsonian Labels
  • World-Exclusive, First-Ever Release
  • Only 500 Sets Available
  • These proofs are a must-have for any fan of the Silver Dollar or U.S. history. No U.S. coin collection is complete without America's First Silver Dollar design. You won't just be holding history in your hands—you'll be holding the start of history!
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