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If you are a coin collector then there are a few things that you definitely know. First, you probably know what makes a coin unique to you. This could be anything from a specific year to a certain country of origin. Second, you know how to keep your coins safe from both corrosion and prying eyes. And third, you most likely know about the “King of Coins.”
Something that sets many coins apart is their rarity. The less of them there are, the harder it is to get your hands on them. The harder it is to get your hands on them the more they increase in value. The “King of Coins” also known as the 1804 Silver Dollar is both extremely rare and incredibly expensive. In fact, one recently sold at auction for over 3.8 million dollars. Here’s a peek into what makes this particular coin so unique.
Original 1804 Silver Dollar
In America back in 1804 there were about 19,570 silver dollars made. Oddly enough though, these coins weren’t dated 1804. To save a buck the US Mint was in the habit of using old dies to make current coins. So most likely all of these coins were marked 1803 or possibly even 1802.
Very few of these original coins are even still around today. People realized that less silver was being used to make the American dollar than the Spanish American Pieces of Eight. So instead of the silver dollar staying in circulation in the US, it was being shipped to the Caribbean to be exchanged for the Pieces of Eight. Those were then brought back and melted down for their silver.
Once the government learned that their silver dollars were just being wasted across the sea, President Thomas Jefferson completely stopped production. It would seem the coin's lifespan had run out, but it actually took an interesting turn.
The New 1804 Silver Dollar
The 1804 Silver Dollar got a second chance at being minted 30 years later. President Andrew Jackson’s administration was looking to send some diplomatic gifts to foreign dignitaries and thought a US coin collection would work wonders. Since the US silver dollar was first created in 1804, they wanted to include it in the collection, but because most of the coins were gone and all of them were date stamped for 1803, they couldn’t find any.
This led the US mint to produce eight unique 1804 Silver Dollar coins for these foreign collections. These coins were given to dignitaries such as Rama III, King of Siam and Said bin Sultan.
Because so few coins were produced, they have become known as one of the most famous of all US coins. They are also the most valuable of any US coin produced. If you ever get a chance to see the “King of Coins” make sure you take a moment to appreciate what you’re looking at.