Dallas, Texas: An East Coast collector has purchased a Class III 1804 U.S. dollar for $2,475,000 in a private treaty sale announced by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas (www.HeritageAuctions.com). The same coin traded hands in 1950 for $3,250.
The Adams-Lyman-Carter-Flannagan Specimen is one of only six known Class III 1804 Draped Bust type silver dollars. Graded PCGS Proof-58, it is the finest of the three available to collectors and not part of museum collections.
The anonymous collector who purchased the coin was represented by Heritage. Dealer Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, California represented the seller, described only as "a West Coast collector."
"The fabled 1804 dollars are widely known as 'the King of Coins.' It's always exciting when one changes hands, and this certainly has been electrifying for the happy new owner and the Heritage team," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage who handled the transaction for the firm.
"Less-famous coins are selling for a million dollars or more, and the King of Siam proof set containing an 1804 dollar recently sold for $8.5 million. The other 1804 dollars are either also in the strong hands of collectors who want to keep them or are impounded in museums. So the new owner of this coin is thrilled about adding it to what is becoming one of the finest collections in existence," Rohan said.
This is the second time this particular coin has set a record price for a Class III 1804 dollar. It first established the record when it was purchased at an auction in July 2003 for $1,207,500. Two years earlier it sold for $874,000 when Ohio business executive Phillip Flannagan consigned the coin to a November 2001 auction to raise money for construction of a Christian school near Cincinnati.
mon G. Carter, Sr., the late publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper and a founder of American Airlines, paid $3,250 for the same coin in 1950.
Describing 1804 dollars in his 1941 sale of the Dunham Collection, dealer B. Max Mehl stated: "While there may be coins of greater rarity (based upon the number of specimens known), none are so famous as the dollar of 1804!"
"Mehl's comments are still correct and appropriate today," said Rohan. "1804 dollars are the best-known and most sought-after rare coins in the world."
Although there are 15 known "1804" U.S. silver dollars, no one-dollar denomination coins dated 1804 were actually made that year. There are eight surviving examples of 1804-dated dollars made at the Philadelphia Mint in the mid 1830's to be given as gifts on behalf of President Andrew Jackson by a State Department envoy on a diplomatic mission to the Far East. These are known as Class I type.
A unique 1804-dated dollar with a slightly different design on the reverse and struck apparently in 1858 on a
Swiss coin is the lone Class II type. It is part of the Smithsonian's collection. Six other specimens are known with the same modified reverse design, and also believed struck in 1858 to satisfy the requests of collectors at the time, are designated as Class III.
Three of six Class III coins are in museums. The Linderman Specimen, graded Proof-63, is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; the Idler Specimen, Proof-62, is at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the Driefus-Rosenthal Specimen, EX-40, is in the holdings of the American Numismatic Society in New York City.
The two other remaining Class III examples in collectors' hands, the Berg-Garrett Specimen and the Davis Specimen, are graded EX-40.