Saturday, March 04, 2006

1804 U.S. Silver Dollar

The 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar coin is probably the most famous silver coin in the world.

At a recent auction one 1804 US silver dollar coin so for over four million dollars the most paid for any coin in the world ever.

In fact no silver dollars were minted in 1804. Any silver coin you find with a date stamp 1804 were actually minted in 1834 and in the 1850’s and none of them were intended to be circulated!

The reason for this was that the price of silver was rising dramatically and silver dollars were disappearing from circulation as the silver was melted down for the silver content. At the end of 1803 the US government decided to halt silver coin production with none minted in 1804.

However in 1834 as there were presentation sets of silver dollars being produced for diplomatic gifts the inclusion of the 1804 was essential to complete the sets. So several 1804 coins were struck and these are referred to as "original" or Class I 1804 dollars.

It is considered that there are only 8 genuine 1804 coins in the world although it has been thought that the King of Siam (Thailand) and the Imam of Muscat received about 10 presentation kits with 1804 coins as part of the set.

In the late 1850s, The so-called Class II and Class III 1804 silver dollars were struck and presented to the prominent numismatists of that era.. Only 7 specimens of these types are known to exist.

The condition of the 1804 dollars known to exist range from Extra-Fine to Choice Uncirculated. There are a few specimens that have been improperly cleaned, thus greatly reducing their grade.

Because of its great rarity and value, 1804 dollars have been widely counterfeited and some of the fake coins were considered to be genuine for a considerable period of time.

If you should happen to come across a 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar You should hot foot it to the nearest grader and get it valued to ensure it is genuine and not a counterfeit.

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