A unique example of the 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar, struck over a previously struck 1794 silver dollar, has been graded and encapsulated by NGC as AU-53.
1795 Silver Dollar Struck over 1794
unique example of the 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollar,
struck over a previously struck 1794 silver dollar,
has been graded and encapsulated by NGC as AU-53.
Fewer than 2,000 silver dollars were issued in 1794.
Since nearly all of these coins were weakly struck,
owing to the inadequacy of the Mint's press, coining
stopped very quickly. When a more powerful press was
obtained the following year, production resumed with
dies bearing the 1795 date.
It is believed that this specimen was one of those 1794-dated
dollars that was withheld from release. Rather than
being destroyed, it was evidently recycled as a planchet
for the 1795 dies, though it appears no effort was made
to efface the earlier coin, which is plainly visible
at numerous points. The
reverse of the 1794 dollar is visible within and around
Liberty's portrait on the 1795 overstrike, while several
features of the 1794 obverse die may be seen underneath
the 1795 dollar's reverse. Among these are some stars
to the right of Liberty's bust on the 1794 obverse die.
The unique positioning of these stars, with two points
toward the border rather than the single points of 1795
dies, reveal identification of the undertype. The positioning
of leaves in relation to the right stem and the final
A of AMERICA on the reverse from the 1794 strike provide
additional confirmation of the undertype. Exactly why
this coin was produced is not known. It is probably
not, however, a mint error and was likely an intentional
strike produced in 1795.
This coin, while not a new discovery, has been little
publicized since its discovery in 1961 by the late Walter
Breen. It has appeared for public sale only once, and
to this day it is believed to be unique. It has never
been certified or encapsulated until receiving its AU-53
grade from NGC, which also labeled it as Bowers-Borckardt
variety 14 under NGC's VarietyPlus Service. BB-14 is
quite rare in AU condition, though the unique overstrike
feature of this coin places it in another category entirely.
Irrespective of its appeal as a great rarity, this specimen
is quite attractive. Just lightly worn and retaining
much of its mint luster, both sides display splendid
toning of medium pewter gray.
"It is extremely exciting when a coin of this magnitude
and history is certified," observed NGC Chairman and
CEO Mark Salzberg. "To be able to boldly see the understruck
portion of the 1794 Dollar on a coin of such quality
is certainly a numismatic highlight."