The world’s most valuable coin ever sold at auction, the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar graded PCGS SP66 and believed by many experts to be the first silver dollar struck by the United States, will be publicly displayed in the U.S. for the first time since it was purchased at auction three years ago for $10 million by Spokane business executive Bruce Morelan. It is the world’s highest price ever paid for a rare coin.
That record-setting coin, along with Morelan’s entire 12-coin PCGS Set Registry© collection of U.S. Flowing Hair and Draped Bust Dollars, ranging in date from 1794 to 1803, will be displayed by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Fort Lauderdale, Thursday through early Saturday afternoon, January 5 – 7, 2017.
“Not only will this be the first time the magnificent 1794 Dollar will be seen in the United States since its headline-making auction in January 2013, this actually will be the first time anywhere that Mr. Morelan’s outstanding set of early dollars will be publicly exhibited. PCGS is honored to host the first-ever public viewing of this Hall of Fame, number one-ranked Registry set that showcases the finest known coins of their kind,” said PCGS President Don Willis.
The 1794 Dollar was displayed earlier this year to enthusiastic visitors at museums in eight European countries. However, it has not been shown in public in the United States since the Stack’s Bowers auction three years ago, when it was purchased for Morelan by Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics for a record-smashing $10,016,875.
In addition to the exceptional strike as an apparent presentation piece and its pristine state of preservation, it is the only known 1794 U.S. Dollar with a silver plug. The plug was inserted to obtain the correct planchet weight when the coin was struck on a hand-turned screw press at the Philadelphia Mint on October 15, 1794.
PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe President David Hall recalled the first time he saw the coin in person a decade ago: “It made my heart thump. It’s a gorgeous, historical treasure. The strike is so sharp it leads me to believe it is the very first impression of the die. It is easy to surmise that this is probably the first dollar struck in the U.S.”
“I have loved that coin ever since I first saw an image of it in the late 1990s. The image has just stuck in my head ever since,” said Morelan, who has been collecting coins since his grandmother gave him three old coins including a U.S. Trade Dollar when he was six years old. “It’s absolutely a dream come true to own this coin!”
Here is a list of all 12 coins from the Bruce Morelan Collection of Early Dollars that will make their public debut as a set at the PCGS booth during the first three days of the FUN convention:
- 1794 Flowing Hair, graded PCGS SP66, ex. Neil, Carter, Contursi, Cardinal Collection, finest known
- 1795 Flowing Hair, PCGS MS64+
- 1795 Draped Bust, PCGS MS66, ex Eliasberg, finest known
- 1796 Draped Bust, PCGS MS65, finest known
- 1797 Draped Bust, PCGS MS64, ex. Green and Newman
- 1798 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, PCGS MS63, ex. Cleneay, Green and Newman, finest known
- 1798 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle, PCGS MS65, ex. Stellar, finest known
- 1799 Draped Bust, PCGS MS66, ex. Boston
- 1800 Draped Bust, PCGS MS65+, ex. Fairfield, finest known
- 1801 Draped Bust, PCGS MS65, finest known
- 1802/1 Draped Bust, PCGS MS64, ex. Green and Newman, finest known
- 1803 Draped Bust, PCGS MS65, ex. Green and Newman, finest known
The entire Bruce Morelan Collection of Early Dollars can be conveniently viewed online at PCGS.com/basicearlydollars as part of the free PCGS Digital Coin Album feature that is available to all PCGS Set Registry members. The PCGS Set Registry was established in 2001 and now hosts more than 81,000 sets of U.S. and world coins.
While supplies last, visitors to the PCGS booth at FUN can obtain a free, full-color illustrated, educational brochure about the early dollars set.