A 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded MS-66+ by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) realized nearly $5 million at auction Wednesday when a new portion of the D. Brent Pogue Collection went on sale in New York City. The coin had been forecasted to bring in between $3 million and $5 million.
1794 was the first year the U.S. minted silver dollars. Dennis Hengeveld noted in his preview of the auction that the 1794 dollar had a mintage of just 1,758 pieces and that this particular specimen is “well-known and extensively pedigreed.” The coin is known as a “Lord St. Oswald” silver dollar, so-named for the British aristocrat who first acquired the coin during travels to the U.S. around the time it was minted.
Sales for the complete 105-coin auction, offered by Stack’s Bowers and Sotheby’s, totaled $26 million, according to the Associated Press. Another noteworthy sale concerned a 1795 Capped Bust Right eagle, believed to be the finest surviving U.S. gold coin minted in the 1700’s, which brought in $2.5 million at auction.
Robert Frank of CNBC points out that the investment potential of coins has been growing in recent years. He writes, “Collectible coins gained 13 percent in value last year and 92 percent over five years, outperforming art, wine, and diamonds, according to the firm Knight Frank.”
The nearly 650 early American coins in the Pogue collection constitute what is probably the most valuable rare coin collection in existence, worth around $200 million. A series of auctions starting last May and continuing into 2016 are offering these remarkable coins for sale to the public. The next Pogue auction will be February 18-19 in New York.
You can watch a nice Forbes video feature on the Pogue Collection below.
Photos courtesy of Stack’s Bowers.