A collector subsequently acquired one example from the Mint in 1843. Julian suggests that it could have been done to prevent angering collectors who would not have been able to acquire the 1834-dated coin for their collections; Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt, after consulting with Moore, mistakenly determined that 19,570 dollars bearing the date 1804 were struck in that year. For there are few coins in the American catalogue that have … The 1804 class I or “original” draped bust silver dollars are widely known as the “King of American Coins”, and with good reason. [68][69] In 1903, an example sold for $1,800, and the same coin reportedly sold for $4,250 in 1941. This page addresses counterfeit dollars between 1798 and 1804. Though dated 1804, none were struck in that year; all were minted in the 1830s or later. A complete historical record is provided in Dave Bowers' book The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804 … [55], At the 1962 American Numismatic Association convention, British numismatist David B. Spink announced that he was in possession of a theretofore unknown 1804 dollar specimen. [21] Later, in a letter dated December 2, 1834, Forsyth directed Moore to include "national emblems" (including an eagle and stars) on the exterior of the cases. (The 1804 Dollar was struck only in proof and not until the mid-1830s.) [54] All fifteen extant specimens are acknowledged and studied by numismatists. A. [65] The deformation of the edge lettering was caused by pressure pushing the coinage metal against the steel collar containing the coin blank. [65] Additionally, many 1804 dollars were struck in proof finish, a technique which was first employed at the Mint in 1817. Unless you are very wealthy or you purchased one of the known specimens from a reliable source, your 1804 dated dollar … 1804 Mint-Made Electrotype of Unique Plain-Edge – 4 minted. [51] Interest in coin collecting and the 1804 dollars began increasing, and by 1860, the dollars saw extensive coverage by numismatists. In total, only 15 specimens are known to exist. [47] However, numismatist S. Hudson Chapman believed that some Class III dollars were struck as late as 1876. On June 30, Edmund P. Kennedy, commodore of the diplomatic fleet, wrote to the State Department that he had "directed that the presents [which remained ungifted due to Roberts’ death] be forwarded to the United States". It should be noted that the mintage figures above are based on all known specimens, and it is by no means impossible that there are other 1804 dollars floating around. They are identified by nicknames based on prominent owners, or the first individuals known to have possessed the coins. [40] After the public became aware that Mint officials had permitted restrikes, there was a minor scandal which resulted in a Congressional investigation and the destruction of outdated coinage dies. [75] In 2008, a Class I example was sold by Heritage Auctions for $3,737,500, and a Class III was sold by the same firm for $2,300,000 in 2009. It’s important to note here that numismatic researchers have … [58], The fact that no 1804 dollars were struck in 1804 was not widely accepted by numismatists until the early twentieth century. [26] A list of diplomatic gifts was also proposed for missions to Japan and Cochin-China (today part of Vietnam), which included two additional sets of coins. [39] At least three were offered for sale by various dealers in 1859, and coin dealer Ebenezer Locke Mason claimed that he was offered three by Theodore Eckfeldt, a Mint employee and nephew of Adam Eckfeldt (who had died in 1852). [52] In 1885, auctioneer W.E. [35], During the nineteenth century, Mint employees produced unauthorized copies of medals and coins, sometimes backdated. [72][73] A Class I example reached $990,000 at a Superior Galleries auction in 1990, and an example once owned by coin collector Louis Eliasberg became the first 1804 dollar to surpass $1 million at auction, selling for $1,815,000 at a sale conducted by Bowers and Merena, Inc., in 1997. [67] Some early examples were maintained in the Mint's coin cabinet for use in trades, and in 1859, dealers began offering Class II dollars priced at $75, while Theodore Eckfeldt reportedly offered a Philadelphia coin dealer three coins for $70 each. 15 are known. Mint records indicate a total of 19,570 silver dollars were struck in 1804; however, researchers believe that all those coins were actually dated either 1802 or 1803 because leftover coin … Class I dollars were made around 1834. "[64], According to Newman and Bressett, the manner in which the 1804 dollars were produced is proof that none were struck in 1804. [19] Roberts was given items which were to be presented as gifts to the officials with whom he was negotiating, but described them as being of "very mean quality, and of inconsiderable value". [40] In 1883, a Class III dollar was reportedly purchased in Vienna for $740, and a Class I specimen was auctioned for $1,000 in 1885 by Henry and Samuel H. [34] In total, eight specimens of this type are known today. The Coinage Act of 1792, the legislation which provided for the establishment of the Mint of the United States (today the United States Mint), authorized coinage of multiple denominations of gold, silver and copper coins. .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{display:flex;flex-direction:column}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{display:flex;flex-direction:row;clear:left;flex-wrap:wrap;width:100%;box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{margin:1px;float:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .theader{clear:both;font-weight:bold;text-align:center;align-self:center;background-color:transparent;width:100%}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption{background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-left{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-right{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-center{text-align:center}@media all and (max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:none!important;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{justify-content:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{float:none!important;max-width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle .thumbcaption{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow>.thumbcaption{text-align:center}}, In their book The Fantastic 1804 Dollar, numismatic historians Eric P. Newman and Kenneth E. Bressett assert that a problem arose at the Mint as to how to interpret Forsyth's order. [11] This contributed to a shortage of small change in circulation, and as a result, the public became increasingly critical of the Mint. [43] Coins with added lettering are known as "Class III" 1804 dollars. [70] In 1960, a Class III dollar fetched $28,000 at an auction conducted by Stack's, a coin firm, and the same coin reached $36,000 at another Stack's sale in 1963. There is 1 "class II" specimen, struck over a … [77] Nineteenth-century stage actor John T. Raymond purchased a specimen of the coin, which was later revealed to be a forgery, for $300. (3) The dates that the metal composition changed for each U.S. coin denomination throughout the years. But what makes these 1804 dollars so special? [4] The act went on to state that the coin would be struck in an alloy consisting of 89.2 percent silver and 10.8 percent copper. In the early days of the Mint, dies were saved and reused as an economic measure. The 1804 silver dollars are also some of the rarest and most valuable of all US coins. Some were brought back by service personnel returning from the Vietnam War. [34] Based on the slightly concave appearance of the Class III dollars, it is likely that all were given edge lettering at some point after striking; as the Castaing machine was meant to be used prior to striking, its improper use resulted in a deformation of the coin surface. In 1832, commercial shipper Edmund Roberts began acting as an envoy to Asia on behalf of the United States government, with the intent of negotiating trade deals in the region. [25] The dollars included the sets bore the Draped Bust design, depicting an allegorical representation of Liberty on the obverse and a heraldic eagle on the reverse. [37] In the decades after the first 1804 dollars were produced, collectors became aware of their existence and desired to obtain them. [78] All silver dollars dated between 1800 and 1803 were subject to alteration to 1804 dollars, but 1801 was the date most commonly used for that purpose. . [79][80], In addition to altered dates, electrotypes of the 1804 dollar were created, both for the purposes of study and fraud. A. [72], The price reached an all-time high in 1999, when the finest known specimen, graded Proof-68 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, which is believed to have been the example presented to Said bin Sultan, was auctioned by Bowers and Merena for $4,140,000. [65] They note that the Castaing machine's edging dies utilized an 'H' that was undersized in relation to the other letters, the same as those used on Draped Bust dollars throughout the regular production of those coins. [56][f] As all of the coins in the set were dated 1834 with the exception of the dollar and eagle, it provided the first definitive proof that an 1804 dollar was included in the diplomatic presentation sets. [39] In 1859, James Ross Snowden unsuccessfully requested permission from the Treasury Secretary to create patterns and restrikes of rare coins for sale to collectors, and in that year, dealers began offering plain edge 1804 dollars to the public. [4] According to the act, the dollar, or "unit", was to "be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". By tradition, all are categorized as “Proofs.” They are certainly not business strikes. There are six 1804 silver dollars in museums and nine in private hands. With regards to the 1804 silver dollar… Further, the well-documented striking of the 1804 dollars for the presentation sets in the mid 1830s, plus the restrikes that were made for collectors soon after, justify the existence of only 19 of these scarce dollar coins. These are very common and are usually worth only the value of the metal used to make the coins. [66], From the time numismatists became aware of 1804 dollars, they have commanded high prices, both in relation to their face value and the numismatic value of other silver dollars. [56] The coin was housed in a yellow leather case embossed with an eagle and other ornamentation, conforming to the description of that made for the King of Siam. [41][39] According to DuBois, five coins were known to be privately owned, of which four were recovered. Draped Bust silver dollars are early American coins made from 1795 through 1803. [45] Six specimens of the Class III dollar are known today. The collection of 1804 Silver Dollars consists of three classes. Although the dollars struck in 1804 bore the date 1803, the eagles struck in that year were not antedated. This is sometimes known as the "King of Coins". The 1804 dollar or Bowed Liberty Dollar was a dollar coin struck by the Mint of the United States, of which fifteen specimens are currently known to exist. "[15] Though none had been struck for over two years, Secretary of State James Madison officially suspended silver dollar coinage on May 1, 1806, addressing a letter to Patterson: Sir: In Consequence of a representation from the director of the Bank of the United States that considerable purchases have been made of dollars coined at the mint for the purpose of exporting them, and as it is probable further purchases and exportations will be made the President directs that all the silver to be coined at the mint shall be of small denominations, so that the value of the largest pieces shall not exceed half a dollar.[16]. [76] James A. Bolen, a medallist and coin collector who created copies of valuable coins between 1862 and 1869, fabricated an 1804 dollar by altering the last digit in the date of a genuine 1803 example. [45], Class III dollars are identical to the Class II dollar, except lettering similar to that on the Class I dollars was applied to the edge of the coins. Many American numismatic pieces, patterns and regular issues, are rarer than the 1804 silver dollar, with its population of 15 known specimens. [19] In addition to several other items, he requested a set of coins as an appropriate offering to Said bin Sultan: I am rather at a loss to know what articles will be most acceptable to the Sultan, but I suppose a complete set of new gold & silver & copper coins of the U.S. neatly arranged in a morocco case & then to have an outward covering would be proper to send not only to the sultan, but to other Asiatics.[21]. The 15 known 1804 silver dollars include eight examples of Class I, one of Class II, and six of Class III. The silver dollar and gold eagle, which had been previously minted in 1804, were struck once again for the presentation set. [61] Numismatists Lyman H. Low and William T. R. Marvin, writing for the American Journal of Numismatics in 1899, stated that "the journal confidently asserts that there is no dollar dated 1804 which was struck in that year by the U.S. The bulk of the mintage was variously rumored to have been paid to Barbary pirates as ransom, lost at sea en route to China, and melted before leaving the Philadelphia Mint. Most of them are fakes, because genuine coins are so valuable. [76] Although Bolen added his name to the edge of the coin, other forgers created altered date coins with the intent to deceive. Two additional sets were ordered for government officials in Japan and Cochinchina, but Roberts died in Macau before they could be delivered. Silver Dollar Specimens There are 15 known specimens of the 1804 Silver Dollar in circulation. Numismatists first became aware of the 1804 dollar in 1842, when an illustration of one example appeared in a publication authored by two Mint employees. There exist eight Class I 1804 dollars (“originals”), one Class II 1804 Dollar, and six Class III 1804 dollars (“restrikes”). [c] The moratorium on silver dollar coinage had been lifted in 1831, but none had been coined since those issued in March 1804. The 15 known 1804 silver dollars include eight examples of Class I, one of Class II, and six of Class III. "[62] In 1891, numismatist John A. Nexsen wrote that the Class I 1804 dollars were "without doubt coined in 1804". A Genuine 1804 Dollar; A Counterfeit 1804 Dollar; With the many email inquiries we receive regarding the 1804 Dollar we thought it would be helpful to show a real one against a fake. [65] However, the edge lettering on all Class I 1804 dollars is deformed and partially obliterated, meaning that they were not struck in an open-collared coinage press as was used in 1804, but one which used a steel collar that was not introduced to the Mint until 1833. [24] Two sets of coins, minted in proof finish, were completed and delivered along with their boxes to Roberts shortly prior to his departure on the USS Peacock on April 27, 1835. [21], He also directed Moore to have two Morocco leather boxes made to house the coins. The finest example of the 1804 Class I silver dollar appeared at auction in 2016 and garnered a bid of more than $10 million but did not meet reserve and thus did not sell. It should be noted that the mintage figures above are … Widely noted as the King of American coins, 1804 Draped Bust dollars are the poster child of United States rare coins and represent the holy grail of collecting for many hobbyists. [9] At that time, silver bullion was supplied to the Mint exclusively by private depositors, who, according to the Coinage Act of 1792, had the right to have their bullion coined free of charge. 2020 (P) American Silver Eagles: A New Modern Rarity. However, those coins, struck from old dies as was common practice at the time, were dated 1803. Unfortunately, if you have one of these coins you should assume it is a counterfeit.. [29] Roberts died in Macau on June 12, 1836, before he could initiate contact with any other nations. [56] According to Spink, the set was offered to him by two women whom he believed were descendants of Anna Leonowens, tutor of the children of Rama IV (half-brother and heir of Rama III) and fictionalized protagonist of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. [44] The obverse die was defaced in 1869. Unlike the original coins, these later restrikes lacked the correct edge lettering, although later examples released from the Mint bore the correct lettering. The numbers come from the United States … A. (2) A list of the most valuable silver coins by denomination. Chapman. [8][9] As a result, the United States silver dollars and unworn Spanish dollars were largely forced out of circulation in accordance with Gresham's law; the lighter Spanish dollars were shipped in quantity for circulation in the United States, while the heavier pieces would be turned in to the Philadelphia Mint to be recoined into United States coinage to take advantage of the discrepancy in weight. 1804 Second Reverse, Class III – 6 minted. [85][86] In 2012, Professional Coin Grading Service founder David Hall stated that counterfeit 1804 dollars had been available in Hong Kong for decades.[87]. [10][5] As large silver coins were a preferred method of commerce throughout the world, especially China, a considerable number of the United States dollars requested by silver depositors were exported to satisfy that demand.[9]. Weren’t there thousands of silver dollars made in 1804? While there is a degree of mystery behind much of what happened at the United States Mint during its first decades of operations, there is substantial evidence to suggest that all dollars recorded in the 1804 mint report were dated 1803. In many cases, they less than half the weight of a true Morgan Silver Dollar. He stated that one should be yellow in color, and the other crimson, and that funds could be drawn from the Treasury for the value of the boxes and coins. [21] 1804 Second Reverse, Class II – Unique. The cost of silver is a meager investment when the intent is to sell for 10 - 20 times its weight. [12][a] In his 1805 report, Mint Director Robert Patterson stated that "[t]he striking of small coins is a measure which has been adopted to accommodate the banks and other depositors, and at their particular request, both with a view of furnishing a supply of small change, and to prevent the exportation of the specie of the United States to foreign countries. Note - only 15 genuine examples of the famous 1804 dollar are thought to exist. [81][g] One such coin in the collection of the San Francisco Mint was described by them as genuine from 1887 to 1927. For example, many fake Trade Dollars are struck from silver and are the correct weight. On the surface, the 1802 would appear to be the rarest Heraldic Eagle Reverse dollar with a reported mintage of just … [71] A Class I specimen brought $77,500 at a 1970 Stack's auction, and during a 1980 rise in coin prices, a Class III example sold for $400,000 by Bowers and Ruddy Galleries. [7] In 1793, President George Washington signed into law a bill which declared Spanish milled dollars legal tender, provided that they weighed no less than 415 grains (26.9 g), which meant that at the lowest weight allowed by law, the Spanish dollars would contain approximately 0.5 percent less silver than the United States dollar coins. It will save you money next time you decide to sell or buy silver dollars. [44] The obverse coinage die used to strike the Class II and Class III 1804 dollars was deposited in safekeeping in 1860, and the reverse die was destroyed in that year. In this article you will find (1) A complete list of U.S. coins made of silver by denomination. They were first created for use in special proof coin sets used as diplomatic gifts during Edmund Roberts' trips to Siam and Muscat. Counterfeits exist of the 1804 Silver Dollar, with some con artists and perpetrators of fraud trying to pass off coins as the real thing. There are fifteen known specimens of the 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar … Auction prices reached $1,000 by 1885, and in the mid-twentieth century, the coins realized over $30,000. [31][d][e] The dollars minted for the diplomatic gift sets, as well as other examples struck with the same dies, are collectively known as "Class I" 1804 dollars. 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