17 MARCH 2016, London: With a value of over $10 million, the world’s most valuable coin - the ‘Amon Carter’ Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, the first dollar to be minted in the U.S.– arrived in London today and will be put on free public display in the U.K. for the first time ever.
The exhibition which is hosted by The London Mint Office will see the coin exhibited in the heart of London at La Galleria from 18 – 20 March 2016. The coin is being displayed alongside an original copy of the American Declaration of Independence, printed in Boston in July 1776, which is worth approximately $4 million, giving history and coin collecting enthusiasts the opportunity to see two great icons of American history.
The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is one of the most highly regarded coins in the coin-collecting world. The actual coin being displayed in the U.K. was sold at auction on 24 January 2013 for $10,016,875 – a world record price for a coin. The exceptionally high quality of the coin resulted in it being certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) as a specimen – 66 on the numismatic grading scale of 1 to 70, making the coin the finest of its kind. Many coin experts believe that this was in fact the first dollar ever to be struck, which would also mean that that George Washington himself would have inspected it personally.
The first U.S. Silver Dollars were all struck on 15 October 1794, with a total of 1,758 silver dollars made on that one day on a hand-turned screw press at the Philadelphia Mint. Designed by Robert Scot, the U.S. Mint’s chief engraver from 1793, the obverse of the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is graced by the figure of Liberty, adorned with flowing hair, and surrounded by fifteen stars - representing the fifteen states of the United States of America at that time. The reverse featured an eagle encircled by a wreath, and the legend United States of America.
The London Mint Office is offering U.K. households the chance to own a Flowing Hair Silver Dollar for themselves, giving away for free up to 100,000 scale reproductions of the world’s most valuable coin, layered in pure silver. The free scaled reproduction coin can be ordered at www.flowinghair1794.co.uk .
This renowned coin is owned by New Jersey businessman, Bruce Morelan who comments: “I’m extremely proud to own the first American Silver Dollar ever to be struck, it is the centre piece of my collection. For me, its rarity, quality and pedigree make it the ultimate collectable coin, and one hundred percent worthy of being the world’s most valuable coin. I’m honoured to own the coin and see it go on display in London so that many more people may enjoy its unique qualities.”
James Deeny, Managing Director at, The London Mint Office says: “We are delighted to be bringing such an exciting exhibition to London and Europe. It’s incredible to think that this coin represents the very beginning of what has become the world’s most important currency. Its record breaking value and beauty make it a ‘must see’ for anyone, young or old, with an interest in history, America, design or who simply want to see something extraordinary. We hope as many people as possible take up this one-off opportunity to see the world’s most expensive coin while it is on U.K. soil, and to order a replica coin for themselves.”
The first visitors to the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar exhibition on each day will each receive a special limited edition book on the history of the U.S. dollar, “A Superpower is Born: The Rise of the Dollar”.
This is the first time that a 1794 Silver Dollar has ever been exhibited in London and is the final leg of a landmark European tour which has seen The London Mint Office’s parent company, Samlerhuset, take the coin to seven other European countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Ireland). For more information about the tour and about the free reproduction coin, visit www.flowinghair1794.co.uk
London Exhibition Details:
Date: Friday 18th March, Saturday 19th March and Sunday 20th March 2016
Time: Friday and Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 9am - 12pm
Location: La Galleria
5b Pall Mall
30 Royal Opera Arcade
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Susan Perolls at Loudmouth PR, T 020 7981 9858, E firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar:
Morelan’s 1794 Flowing Hair dollar was struck by hand on a screw press at the Philadelphia Mint on October 15 of that year. It was (by all reliable expert estimations) the first of 1,758 silver dollars minted for the year, all of which were struck on that same day.
The coins were made from silver that was donated by then-Mint Director David Rittenhouse. There is no official record of who owned the coin between 1794 and the 1920s, when Colonel E.H.R. Green bought it for his legendary collection. However, a multitude of numismatists agree on at least one thing about its 19th-century custodian: whoever he or she was they took special care of the coin.
The Col. E.H.R. Green collection was purchased by Burdette G. Johnson and the St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company. From there, the 1794 dollar wound up in the inventory of dealer James Kelly in 1945. It was then sold to collector C. David Pierce, whose collection was offered in 1946 by the Hollinbeck-Kagin Coin Company.
Afterward, Abe Kosoff and Abner Kreisberg of Numismatic Gallery sold the coin to Will W. Neil. In 1947, popular Fort Worth coin dealer B. Max Mehl offered the Neil Collection, declaring the silver dollar as “probably the finest-known specimen.”
Mehl sold the coin in a mail-bid auction for $1,250 to Amon Carter, Sr., who owned stock in American Airlines and ran the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. The coin remained with the Carter family until 1984, when Amon Carter, Jr., died. Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold the coin that year to Hugh Sconyers for $264,000.
The coin went through many hands over the next several years, selling for various amounts between $209,000 in 1986 and $506,000 during a 1991 sale.
Steven L. Contursi bought the coin for $2.5 million during a private transaction in 2002. Contursi owned the coin for eight years, and during the years 2004 through 2009 it was featured at the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Martin Logies, author of The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794, bought the coin for $7.85 million on behalf of the non-profit Cardinal Collection Education Foundation in 2010.
Morelan bought the coin during the sale of the Cardinal Collection at a Stack’s Bowers auction in January 24, 2013. The final price for the 1794 dollar, including the buyer’s fee, was $10,016,875.
About The London Mint Office Limited: The London Mint Office is a trusted and respected partner for a large number of British coin collectors. Gold, silver and other precious metals have fascinated mankind for many centuries, making coin collecting a popular hobby the world over. The London Mint Office is at the centre of British numismatics, bringing the fascinating world of coin collecting to both existing and new collectors. Together with our sister organisations across Europe, The London Mint Office provides a wide range of coins from ancient to modern, originating from virtually every country in the world. Visit www.londonmintoffice.org for more information.
Samlerhuset AS was established in 1994 and is located in Kolbotn outside Oslo. The company is one of Europe's biggest players in collectibles and the owner of the Norwegian Mint in Kongsberg,; it operates in 16 countries with around 400 employees and had a turnover of NOK 1.2 billion in 2014. The company has offices in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Ireland, Belgium and China. Samlerhuset mainly sells traditional collectibles such as coins, medals, stamps, banknotes and coin letters, and offers coins from national banks and mints from around the world. Samlerhuset is also the largest shareholder of the trade fair World Money Fair, which annually brings together national banks, mints, producers of coin technology and precious metal players in Berlin. The company is 100% Norwegian-owned, owns the Mint of Norway and is the producer of the Nobel Peace Prize medals every year. Samlerhuset's aim is to create pleasure among collectors: visit www.samlerhuset.no.
About Bruce Morelan – owner of the Flowing Hair Silver dollar:
Bruce Morelan started collecting coins when he was only six years old and by the time he was in high school his dream was to be a coin dealer. But life intervened and instead, Bruce became a nuclear engineer by training and is a former Navy officer. He once worked at the Hanford nuclear reservation in the Tri-Cities before going into business for himself. By chance, he became Legend Numismatics' financial backer in 1996. His great grandmother had given him three coins when he was young, one of which being a Trade Dollar, so he set out to build the finest Trade Dollar set. After a few years with ultra rarities, Bruce returned to his love of dollars with a new Gobrecht set and a spectacular early dollar set capped by his dream coin, the Amon Carter 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. Not many collectors can say they have completed not only the finest 1794-1885 Dollar Sets and have over the years owned such coins as two 1913 Liberty Head Nickels, an 1894-S Dime, 1876-CC Twenty Cent piece, 1827 Original and Restrike Quarters, 1838-O Half Dollar, two 1885 Trade Dollars and four 1884 Trade Dollars.
About Brian Hendelson – Owner of the Broadside Declaration of Independence:
Brian Hendelson, President of Classic Coin Co. is a resident of Bridgewater, New Jersey. As a renowned collector and a member of every major numismatic organisation Brian has been a contributor to the Guide Book of United States Coins (Redbook) for decades.
The gift of a Morgan silver dollar from his grandmother when he was 10 years old was the beginning of a nearly 40 year numismatic journey for Brian Hendelson. Brian has been a passionate collector ever since and today is considered one of the nation’s top experts in United States coinage.
Aside from collecting and dealing with some of the most famous coins in the marketplace today, his passion has led him to assemble one of the largest collections of Early Americana in the US today. He is associated with a number of museums on the east coast which he shares his collection with.
Exhibiting has been an important part of Brian’s collecting efforts for many years. “I enjoy sharing my collection and inspiring others to collect. As much as I love coins, the idea of owning a document penned by a Founding Father, a sword he carried into battle, or a garment he actually wore, is nothing short of incredible. As much as I enjoy owning these treasures, I am even more thrilled to loan them out to share with everyone.”