Friday, May 21, 2010
Expensive Coin - 1794 Liberty dollar sets world
SUNNYVALE, CA, USA -- Steven L. Contursi,
who has owned a mint-condition 1794 Liberty dollar for the
past seven years, confirmed Thursday that he sold it to the
Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation of Sunnyvale
for $7.85 million - setting the new world record for the Most
Photo: The Neil/Carter/Contursi specimen
1794 Flowing Hair dollar, the World's
Most Expensive Coin, graded PCGS SP66. Photo: Rare
Coin Wholesalers (enlarge
Graded PCGS Specimen-66, it is the finest
known 1794 dollar and believed by several prominent experts
to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States
The coin was sold by Steven L. Contursi,
Rare Coin Wholesalers of Irvine, California, to the
Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Sunnyvale,
Collector and numismatic researcher Martin
Logies represented the foundation of which he is a director
and its numismatic curator.
The private sale was brokered by Greg Roberts,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Group International
of Irvine, California.
previous world record for the Most
Expensive Coin was $7.59 million for a U.S.-minted
1933 $20 gold piece, according to the American Numismatic
The silver dollar is among the first ever
made and one of about 150 still in existance.
This isn't the first time the Cardinal
Collection Educational Foundation has paid big bucks
for a coin. In 2007, it spent $1.5 million for the oddly named
half-dime minted in the late 1700s.
The U.S. began producing silver
dollars in 1794, and this particular one remains in near-perfect
condition 216 years later.
Photo: The 1794 Liberty dollar,
Expensive Coin in The World. Photo: Rare Coin Wholesalers
That being the case, the price it fetched
was not surprising, said professional coin grader David Hall.
"Even if it looks like it's been run over
by a truck it would still be worth a hundred grand," he said.
Part of the so-called flowing-hair silver
dollars, the coin has a portrait of Lady Liberty with long,
straight hair on the front and a noticeably skinny American
eagle on the back.
"That's the type of piece that is available
maybe once in a lifetime," said Martin Logies, curator of
the Cardinal Collection, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving
rare coins and educating the public about them. He said the
foundation plans to put the coin on display, just as Contursi
did much of the time he owned it.
Numismatic experts say the 1794
Liberty dollar, the Most
Expensive Coin in The World was among the first
U.S. silver dollars ever made.
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Friday, May 21, 2010