Flowing Hair Dollar

Posted by on March 7, 2012

Coin Weight (g) Composition Silver Melt Value Full Melt Value
Flowing Hair (1794-1795) 26.96 89% silver, 10% copper
SC 1794Flowinghairdollar 300x151 Flowing Hair Dollar

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar

The Flowing Hair Dollar was minted in 1794 and 1795 as the first dollar struck by the United States of America.  It is also the first silver coin and was struck before any gold coins were struck.  Even though the US Congress had passed on April 2, 1792 the minting of silver and gold coins was postponed because Congress had stipulated that a bond of $10,000 had to be posted by the Chief Coiner, Henry Voigt, and the Assayer, Albion Cox.  The Mint Director, David Rittenhouse, appealed to Thomas Jefferson, who at the time was Secretary of State which was the Cabinet officer in charge of the Mint.  Considering Voigt and Cox were receiving an annual salary of $1,500 each, this bond was problematic.  In March of 1794 Jefferson got Congress to acquiesce and the bonds were reduced to $5,000 for Voigt and $1,000 for Cox.

BS 1795flowinghairdollarrev1 300x152 Flowing Hair Dollar

1795 Flowing Hair Dollar

Engraver Robert Scot had Flowing Hair Dollar design ready and for prestige sake the dollar was the first to be struck on October 15, 1794.  This first strike was all from the same die set.  Of the reported 2,000 silver coins struck only 1,758 were deemed satisfactory of these it is estimated that around 130 to 150 have survived in all grades.  Martin A. Logies has gathered very significant information on over 125 of the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar that many consider to be one of the best documenting the various action pedigrees.

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ebay silver logo Flowing Hair DollarCoins Close to Melt Values

4008989378894040 1 Flowing Hair Dollar
1794 Flowing Hair Dollar 1 oz. Copper Round
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SC 1795DollarObverse Flowing Hair Dollar

1795 Flowing Hair Dollar obverse

The 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar starts at well over $50,000 for a Good grade.  No more 1794 strikes were made due to problems with the press having problems with the large coin.  A larger press was made to order specifically for the dollar and delivered in 1795.  160,295 silver dollars were coined in 1795, of which there are three varieties generally recognized; the ‘2 leaves with the 1974 head’, ‘3 leaves with the 1975 head’, and ‘plugged’ with silver.

The obverse has Liberty facing right with flowing hair in the center of the silver coin.  The date is under her by the rim.  Stars rise up along the rim on the left are eight and seven on the right.  “LIBERTY” arches above her interrupting the string of stars along the rim.

SC 1795DollarReverse Flowing Hair Dollar

1795 Flowing Hair Dollar reverse

The reverse has the ‘small’ bald eagle standing on a rock with opened wings a laurel wreath surrounds the eagle.  Where the wings cross the laurel branches is where the leaves are counted for the ‘2’ or ‘3’ leaves variations.  “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” surrounds both features and encircles the coin along the rim.

The edge of the Flowing Hair Dollar is lettered with “HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT” with various ornaments in between each word.  The Flowing Hair Dollar has a diameter of 39 to 40 millimeters and weighs 27 grams of 90% silver and 10 % copper.  Congress had assigned 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper, however Cox, had talked Rittenhouse into allowing him to use the finer silver reasoning that it wouldn’t tarnish as bad and was easier to make, this lead to problems with those who had deposited bullion to be minted.

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