America’s First Silver Dollar Acquired for $12 Million by GreatCollections

America's First Silver Dollar

World’s Most Valuable Silver Coin and Second-Highest Price Ever Paid for a Rare Coin


An exceedingly rare coin minted in 1794, widely believed to be the very first Silver Dollar struck by the United States, has sold for a world-record $12 million to GreatCollections.

Only about 140 silver dollars exist today out of the original mintage of 1,758, and this is the only example designated Specimen by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), which assigned a grade of SP-66. It is also approved by Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC).

The famous coin was the first to break the $10 million mark, selling for $10,016,875 in a 2013 auction. Three years earlier, it had traded privately for $7.85 million. In both prior transactions, it set the record for the highest price paid for a coin, until the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle was auctioned last year for $18.9 million.

The seller of the 1794 Silver Dollar was well-known collector Bruce Morelan, who had previously sold a trio of rare coins for $13.35 million to GreatCollections in November last year that included the finest 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, one of only three in private hands.

Prior to Morelan, the coin was owned by numismatic legends including Virgil Brand, Col. E.H.R. Green, W.W. Neil, and both Amon Carter, Senior and Junior.

Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections said, “Without question, this is America’s most coveted Silver Dollar, and it gave me chills closing the transaction for this piece of history. This absolutely defines ‘museum-quality’ in fact, aside from the unique specimen-striking, it’s substantially better than the examples in the Smithsonian and American Numismatic Association collections. The new owner is thrilled.”

John Albanese, founder of CAC, negotiated the transaction on behalf of Morelan last week.

“I’m very pleased to be involved in this deal, officially the highest price paid for any CAC-approved coin in a private transaction,” Albanese said. “I know it’s bittersweet for Bruce to pass the torch to the next owner.”

The historic deal took just days to complete.

“I called Ian about the coin a week ago Sunday, and by Thursday, we were in agreement. Then it was just a matter of logistics to securely transport the rarity.”

The coin market has gained new strength over the past few months, with a large number of new collectors entering the market from other collectibles and hobbies.

This was the second important 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar purchased by GreatCollections in the past six months. At an ANA auction in August, GreatCollections paid $6.6 million for another example, ranking as the seventh-highest price ever paid for a coin at auction.

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About GreatCollections

GreatCollections is an auction house for certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 950,000 certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States. Ian Russell, Owner/President of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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  1. Thank y’all for the article on the first silver dollar. Been interested in coins since graduated high school. Recently acquired my first 1909 penny. Hope the LORD keeps me well-minded till I reach 100. Got 19 to go!! Thanks again!!


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