user_30405's Blog

22 Jan 2022

1804 Dollar Part 4

Young Numismatists Exchange | user_30405


Questions arise regarding the legality of these valuable coins. The Type 1 coins were minted under the direct commands of the Mint Director Samuel Moore, as instructed by the President Andrew Jackson. Therefore they are official mint issued coins and are "genuine," legal tender, and legal to own. The Type 2 and Type 3 coins are different. Type 2 1804 Dollars were underweight and were hunted down by federal investigators, which is the equivalent of the Secret Service hunting down 1933 Double Eagles. This, in my eyes, means that they declared these coins illegal. Surprisingly they were put in the Mint Collection and then the Smithsonian. This begs the question if the United States government would put illegitimate coins in their collection. I don't believe they would, yet they are restrikes, seized by the United States government. Because of this fact, I would consider these coins to be illegal to own. The Type 3 Dollars are even more puzzling. The Mint implied that the Type 2 Dollars were illegal, but they didn't track down the Type 3 Dollars. The 1913 Liberty Head Nickels, minted illegally in the mint by an employee, weren't hunted down, but the 1933 Double Eagles, minted by the U.S. Mint was hunted down by the Secret Service. Because of this inconsistency, opinions vary, but from my limited research, I believe in a technical sense that Type 2 and Type 3 1804 Dollars are illegal to own. However if the Secret Service says they are fine to own through their actions, or lack of it, let the numismatic fireworks glow.


1804 Dollars are often called the "King of American Coins." There are few coins that can set any collector's heart aflutter, and even be enticing to non-numismatists. A few examples are Stellas, 1913 Liberty Head Nickels, 1933 Double Eagles, and 1804 Silver Dollars. There are many factors that can lead to any collectible item being legendary, and therefore expensive. The first factor is rarity. PCGS Coinfacts estimates a population of only 16, with only 4 in MS-65 or better. Second is the story behind the coin. The 1804 Silver Dollars have one of the most fascinating and epic stories of any collectible item, not only numismatic. It deals with intriguing political backgrounds, smuggling, forging, government stings, and finally amazing pedigrees. The third factor is condition. The finest known 1804 Type 1 Dollar is in the stunning grade of MS-68, as it has no wear, a very strong strike, superbe eye-appeal, minimal marks, and hairlines. Condition is a large factor in rarity, and when a coin has both superb rarity and is the finest known, the value shoots through the roof. The 1804 Silver Dollars, with its prices, stories, and overall appeal never fails numismatists' admiration.


The "King of American Coins," 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollars, are, in reality, the king of all the coins in the world. These significant titles are rooted in the historical importance of these coins, extreme rarity, and value. These legendary coins represent a young country trying to establish itself in world politics, minting a diplomatic gift that embodies the liberty of America, yet these coins have enslaved many collectors to their love of numismatics.


Wikipedia. 1804 Dollar.

Yeoman, R. S. A Guide Book of United States Coins. 73th ed.

The Conference on Research in Income and Wealth. Trends in the American Economy in the Nineteenth Century.

PCGS Coinfacts. pcgs.com


Thanks for reading, comments and tips are welcome



Level 5

Mint has a skeptical past in rarities.


Level 6

Great coin! ; )


Level 6

Thanks. Nicely sourced. Just a hint, Wikipedia is NOT a proper source. Bad facts.


Level 7

Long beard got it! None of those coins are legal to own. Thanks for the information and the good blog.

Long Beard

Level 5

None of the 1804 classification, are illegal to own. Never have been as they've been in some of the top collections since their striking. A class II (the PF-68 mentioned) just recently sold at auction for 7.68 million last summer and made headlines worldwide before and especially after. It's always a pleasure to read comments or articles about this fascinating coin.


Level 5

Amazing the 1804 dollar. Would be great to find one. Thanks for a great read.

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