A rare early US silver coin rose in value by $11,999,999 when a Las Vegas man sold it to GreatCollections Coin Auctions, a company based in Irvine, California. Now valued at $12 million, the 1794 silver dollar is believed to be the first such coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and “was intended to help replace the Spanish, English, Dutch, and French coins that were in circulation in the country’s post-colonial era”. Bruce Morelan, a Las Vegas business executive, paid $10,016,875 for the treasure in 2013 and exhibited it across the country and in Europe before selling it.
In a statement, Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections, said: “Due to its significance, it was likely seen by President George Washington, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. who oversaw the fledgling United States Mint. Without a doubt, this is America’s most coveted silver dollar, a national numismatic treasure.
Of 1,758 such pieces made in Philadelphia on a hand-turned press, only 140 survive. And the condition of the most recently sold coins is “substantially better than the examples in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection and the American Numismatic Association Museum,” according to Russell.
A collector since the age of six, Morelan, the seller, said: “Coins are in my blood and the 1794 dollar was a lifelong dream. I’m really lucky to have owned it and I hope the new owner will have as much joy, pride and satisfaction as me.