Prototype of the first $ 1 coin auctioned for $ 840,000

With a piece of copper struck by the United States Mint in Philadelphia in 1794 It was the prototype of money in a fledgling country It was auctioned for $ 840,000, well above expectations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Heritage auction spokesman Eric Bradley said the No Star Flowing Hair Dollar opened for $ 312,000 when it took place on Friday night, but “in less than a minute, a fierce bid put coins in the immediate vicinity. Was pushed up to the final auction price of $ 840,000. “

Coins owned by former businessman and Texas Rangers co-chair Bob Simpson were expected to sell for $ 350,000 to $ 500,000, Bradley said.

It looks a lot like a silver coin that was later cast in Philadelphia, but it is named because it has no stars. Jaco Blipson of Heritage Auctions previously stated that Starless Coin is considered by collectors and institutions to be a “unique prototype of the silver example that follows.”

The front, known as the pattern, has a portrait of free-flowing hair and the date of 1794, and the back has a small eagle on a rock in a wreath. A similar starless example is part of the Smithsonian Museum’s National Monetary Collection.

The pattern was forgotten as Mentha continued the process of making the country’s first silver coin.

“Coin-collecting folklore states that a unique rarity was unearthed from the location of the first Philadelphia Mint before 1876,” Lipson said. That was how the first owners of coins explained their history in their first auction appearance in 1890.

According to Lipson, the pattern is corroded and not in perfect condition. Probably because it was buried in the original mint location. There are scratches and other marks on the brown surface. According to the auction house, it exchanged hands eight times.

73-year-old Simpson purchased alongside other patterns in 2008 and added it to his large collection.

“I think coins should be valued mostly as artwork,” he said. “I got more than enough joy from them.”