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Image of First United States Silver Dollar, 1794
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First United States Silver Dollar, 1794


This coin was lightly struck and the features are not as sharp as they appear on the copper pattern. The Mint's largest press was designed for smaller coins than dollars. Forcing a clearer strike out of this old and weak press might have broken it. The coiners settled for a fainter image, while planning for a larger press.


These colors indicate that a process called toning is occurring. The metal of the coin interacts with surface oils, chemicals or environmental factors to produce a film that coats the surface of the coin. In most instances, toning is desirable and increases a coin's value.


Stars were added to the design as new states were established, but there wasn't space for more than 15 stars (as seen here). The design reverted back to the original, symbolic 13 stars after 1797.


Legendary Firsts The following objects are in this section.
Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling, "1652" (struck 1667-1674)First United States Silver Dollar, 1794Great Britain, Sovereign, 1838
Massachusetts, "twenty shillings," 1690Brasher Doubloon, 1787United States, 5 Dollars, 1838
Pewter Continental Dollar, 1776United States, 20 Dollars, 1854United States, 10 Dollars, 1838
Copper Pattern Dollar, 1794Portrait Medal of James Smithson, 1817 
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