1795 3 Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS61
Live Auction February 16, 2023
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$1 1795 3 Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS61
NGC Population: 11/32
PCGS Population: 5/21
Finest Known: MS66 (1) – Sold in 2005, for $1,265,000
- The Mint Act of April 2, 1792, established the decimal in parts of 100, setting the dollar as the basic standard for U.S. currency and all smaller denominations expressed as fractional parts; “dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and milles or thousandths.”
- In the eyes of the Founding Fathers and Mint officials, the silver dollar was the most prestigious and most important amongst silver coinage. This was made evident in 1794, when they chose to strike dollars before any other silver coinage entered production. Only once the nation’s cornerstone coinage was struck were smaller silver pieces, such as the half dollar then minted.
- First Director of the United States Mint, David Rittenhouse himself was so eager to get production underway that he deposited $2,001.34 worth of his own silver on August 29, 1794, so that Dollar production could begin.
- All but 242 of those 2,000 coins were deemed satisfactory, leaving a net mintage of 1,758 Flowing Hair Dollars dated 1794, of which 150 coins are estimated to have survived today.
- Silver dollar production was temporarily suspended from October 1794 until May 1795, while the U.S. Mint waited for a larger, more powerful screw press capable of striking the nation’s flagship denomination.
- Towards the tail-end of 1795, the nation’s maturity was evolving and being expressed through the dollar. First Mint Director David Rittenhouse resigned by the end of June 1795, and his successor Henry William DeSaussure was determined to bring the emblematic Liberty’s maturity to life.
- By the end of October 1795, the youthful, innocent looking Liberty with her hair blowing freely was replaced by the Draped Bust design, a more matronly concept of Liberty as she had now reached full womanhood.
- Thus, concluding the use of the first official design used on United States coinage with the Draped Bust replacing the designs on all smaller denominational coins as well.
- Silver dollar production stopped altogether in 1804, due extensive exporting and melting. Another silver dollar would not re-enter circulation until a brief artistic renaissance swept across the Mint 32-years later in 1836.
- Although the Flowing Hair Dollar is a two-year type (1794-1795), there were two distinctive varieties produced in 1795, leaving collectors three attainable options. The difference being the number of leaves underneath the eagle’s wings on the reverse, with either 2 or 3 Leaves present on each side
- For most seeking to acquire a Flowing Hair silver dollar the 1795 issues are the only realistic option. Even in the lowest certified conditions the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar is expected to exceed $100,000 while a Mint State example is anticipated to start at north of one million dollars.
- In fact, an AU55 example for the 1794 Flowing Hair traded in 2021, for nearly $850,000. Meanwhile the last Mint State specimen to sell was also in 2021, when one of the two MS66+ pieces traded for $6.6 million. The sole finest known is graded SP66 and sold for just over $10 million in 2013.
- Between PCGS & NGC combined, a little over 4,000 Flowing Hair Dollars dated 1795, have been certified in all conditions. However, less than 3% of all survivors exist in any Mint State condition!
- The number of sales in the past half a decade speak to the miniscule surviving population in Uncirculated condition, as just over a dozen Mint State specimens between both the 1795 2 Leaves and 1795 3 Leaves have publicly sold.
- One of the more recent sales took place in the Spring of 2022, where a 1795 2 Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar in AU58 condition realized over $105,000.