One of the most famous and valuable coins of all time is on a victory tour overseas, and its been drawing large crowds during its various stops in Europe.
The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar that sold for a record $10,016,875 in 2013 is on display in London this weekend, after previous stops in cities such as Prague, Warsaw, Stockholm, and Dublin. Joining it on these rounds has been another famous rarity: an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, made in 1776 and valued at about $4 million.
The Flowing Hair coin is believed to be the first U.S. silver dollar ever struck and could potentially have been handled by George Washington himself. Minted on a hand-turned screw press, only about 150 issues of this date are known to exist from the roughly 1,758 minted in Philadelphia. Once part of the Cardinal Collection, this coin has been owned by some illustrious collectors, including Colonel E.H.R Ned Green, W.W. Neil, and Amon Carter Sr. and Jr.
Graded as an impeccable Specimen 66 by PCGS and sporting a green CAC sticker, the coin also is the only such 1794 dollar with a silver plug, inserted to bring it up to a standard weight. Surrounded by 15 stars (one for each state at the time), a Lady Liberty with flowing locks adorns one side, while a bald eagle is depicted on the other.
Despite the fact that the iconic coin is so striking, the BBC asked the question in a March 17 feature: What makes this coin the most valuable in the world? Answer: Rarity, condition and cultural value.
For a visual representation of this coins explosive value, just check out this chart of its gains over a roughly 70-year period, using the sale years and prices listed by the BBC. (The coins whereabouts up until Greens purchase in the 1920s are unknown, although it reportedly was in government storage for much of the 19th century.)
As the chart illustrates, this Flowing Hair dollars value has skyrocketed over time, putting to shame gains by stocks, bonds, and even gold bullion. Of course, a coin like this one only comes around once in a super-blue moon. For those with massively deep pockets, the coins current owner reportedly is open to the right offer.
But the right price is likely out of reach for most people. Nonetheless, numerous lesser-tier rare coins can also provide proportionately superstar returns, as well as aesthetic enjoyment, to those with the eye to invest in them. With decades of experience in numismatic collecting and investing, Blanchard and Company is here to help coin enthusiasts achieve the utmost with their rarities.