America's first silver dollar helps mint more than $7 million for Heritage's Long Beach Expo US Coins Auction

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America's first silver dollar helps mint more than $7 million for Heritage's Long Beach Expo US Coins Auction
1794 $1 B-1, BB-1, R.4, VF30 PCGS. Sold on Feb 8, 2024 for: $234,000.

DALLAS, TX.- A 1794 B-1, BB-1 Silver Dollar, VF30 PCGS sold for $234,000 to lead Heritage’s Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction to $7,009,931 February 8-11.

The 1794 silver dollar was one of 41 lots in the auction from The Eric Lane Collection of Early US Dollars. The lots in the collection amounted to more than $1.7 million in the auction.

“Coin collecting is a lifelong passion for Eric Lane,” says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “We have been honored with selling other sets assembled by Eric and in this case, one of the finest collections of early U.S. dollars which included every date and type. It is a magnificent collection and we are proud to have delivered exceptional prices and helped these coins find new homes with buyers who understand and appreciate their significance.”

There are few U.S. coins as romantic to numismatists as the United States’ first silver dollar, and demand for examples in any grade is exceedingly high.

More than three dozen bids poured in for a 1798 Draped Bust Dollar Small Eagle, 15 Stars, B-2, BB-81, R.3, MS61 PCGS, driving it to a record for the variety of $216,000, surpassing the previous record of $129,250 set by the same coin in 2013 at Heritage Auctions. The example is the third-finest known of the variety, and once held a spot in the Eric P. Newman Collection. The demand stems from its extreme rarity: PCGS and NGC have certified just six Mint State Small Eagle dollars — including examples of both varieties — between them. Another 1798 Draped Bust Small Eagle, 13 stars, sparked a flurry of 35 bids on its way to $132,000.

A third coin in the auction topped $200,000: a 1798 Draped Bust Dollar, Large Eagle, Pointed 9, Close Date, B-27, BB-113, R.2, MS65 PCGS that closed at $204,000 — eclipsing the previous record for the variety of $141,000 set in 2017. Arguably the finest of all 1798 silver dollars, it was listed in the 2013 Bowers encyclopedia with a conservative grade of MS60+. One of just two 1798 silver dollars to which PCGS gave an MS65 grade (with none finer), this magnificent piece is possibly the finest known based on its PCGS MS65 grade, and top ranking in the Stephen Herrman census.

An 1876 Three Dollar Gold Piece, PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC drew a winning bid of $132,000. This sought-after proof-only rarity represents the scarcer JD-2 variety, the surviving population of which John Dannreuther estimates at no more than 16-20 examples in all grades.

An 1800 B-15, BB-195 Silver Dollar, MS62 PCGS, from the Eric Lane Collection and previously the Amon Carter, Jr., Collection, climbed to $90,000. This is the finest known and the only Mint State example of this important coin.

Also reaching $90,000 was an 1895 Morgan Dollar, PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS, a survivor from a minuscule mintage of just 880.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

• A 1795 B-5, BB-27 Silver Dollar, MS62 PCGS: $87,000

• A 1797 Capped Bust Right Quarter Eagle, AU55 PCGS: $81,000

• An 1867 Rays Shield Nickel, PR66 Cameo PCGS. CAC: $78,000

• An 1867 Half Eagle, PR65 Cameo PCGS: $75,000

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