Rare Silver Dollar Coin Sets World Record Auction Price

Stack''s Bowers Galleries/PRNewsFoto

A rare silver dollar coin that was minted in 1794 has sold at auction for a record $10 million.

The coin, known as the Flowing Hair silver dollar, was auctioned by Stack's Bowers Galleries in New York on Jan. 24. The winning bid - made by Legend Numismatics, a rare coin dealer in Lincroft, N.J. - was $10,016,875.

The bid is believed to have set a world record for the sale of a coin.

Flowing Hair silver dollars were minted only in 1794 and 1795. They were the first-ever dollar coins struck by the United States government, according to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, an independent coin grading organization.

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The record-setting coin came from Stack's Bowers' Cardinal Collection, which also featured other rare coins - including a 1793 Chain America large cent that fetched $998,750, and a certified 1792 silver half disme that sold for $1.1 million. A disme was an earlier form of a dime.

Chris Napolitano, president of Stack's Bowers Galleries, said it was "amazing" to have been part of such an historic occasion.

During the bidding, collectors competed "with great fervor and energy," he said in a news release, adding: "The price of the gem 1794 dollar went up and up into the millions, with everyone in the audience on the edge of their seats until at last there was just one bidder remaining … While it is well known that the value of the American dollar has depreciated over the years, here is a dollar that has increased in value beyond the wildest of anyone's dreams."

The previous record for the sale of a rare coin was set in 2002 when a 1933 double eagle sold for $7.59 million.

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According to the Star-Ledger newspaper of New Jersey, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatists and her partners had been willing to bid as much as $15 million for the coin.

"It was the highlight of our careers," Sperber said of her company's winning bid, according to the newspaper. "It means a lot to us, and by us breaking the $10 million barrier, it means a lot to the coin industry."

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