History, Value, and Price Guide for 1804 BB-304 Draped Bust Silver Dollar
Value of Class I 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar
1. Mint Cabinet Specimen: This coin was illustrated in the 1842 book by Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E. Dubois, A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations, Struck Within the Past Century, providing the first notice collectors saw in print that an 1804-dated dollar existed, although fanciful pictures of such pieces had been published in cambists earlier. It was the engraving of this coin that attracted the notice of Matthew A. Stickney and led to his acquisition of No. 2 below. Impaired Proof due to cleaning on multiple occasions, including with silver polish, this occurring generations ago before enlightened curators were in charge. 415.2 grains. Edge lettering crushed, as on two of the 1802 Proof novodels. Nicks and friction spots.
2. Stickney Specimen 1834-1843: Struck during this time, by or under the direction of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. Most likely coined circa the mid-1830s along with the other Class I coins. | 1843: Mint Cabinet Collection duplicate. | 1843, May 9: Matthew Adams Stickney acquired the coin from the Mint Cabinet, where it was a duplicate, by exchanging a 1785 Immune Columbia cent in gold and some other pieces, including “Pine-tree money,” for it. The token was larger than a current $5 gold piece, and for gold value alone represented a profit of several hundred percent over the face value of the 1804. | 1843-1894: Stickney Collection. Widely cited during his ownership, with numerous mentions in the American Journal of Numismatics, auction catalogs, and other printed material. This was the focal-point 1804 dollar for many years. | 1894-1907: Stickney’s daughter. | 1907, June: Henry Chapman, auction of the Stickney Collection, June 25-29, 1907, lot 849. | 1907-1923: Col. James W. Ellsworth. Displayed at the American Numismatic Society, 1914, and illustrated on Plate 17 of the catalog titled Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins, January 17th to February 18, 1914. Ellsworth’s 1804 dollar and selected other coins were part of a spectacular loan and reference display that included three other specimens of the 1804 dollar. | 1923, March 7: Wayte Raymond and John Work Garrett via Knoedler & Co. The latter, a well-known dealer in paintings and art, controlled the sale of the collection, Garrett put up the money and thus had first pick of anything he wanted, and the remainder of the coins-constituting most of the collection-were marketed by Raymond, a dealer of excellent reputation whose star was rising rapidly. | 1923-1940: William Cutler Atwater, New York collector. | 1940-1946: William Cutler Atwater estate. | 1946: B. Max Mehl, Atwater Collection, June 11, 1946, lot 213. The Atwater Collection sale included examples of the Class I and Class III 1804 dollars. | 1946-1976: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Widely exhibited at banks and at the Smithsonian Institution. The following was written by Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. in 1956: “The dollar on exhibit is the only coin of this rare date that can be traced back to the United States Mint, where it was acquired by Mr. Stickney in 1843 in exchange for a gold IMMUNE COLUMBIA cent and several other pieces. There are six original 1804 dollars known to exist of which three including this specimen are in private collections. It is the most famous pedigreed coin in America and has only been in four collections in the past 113 years.” | 1976-1997: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. estate. | 1997, April 6: Cataloged and sold by Auctions by Bowers and Merena, Inc. Realized $1,815,000, a world’s record price for any coin ever sold in public competition. | 1997: Spectrum Numismatics, Greg Roberts as bidder. | Private collection. | Proof-63 in the Eliasberg Collection catalog, later graded as Proof-65 by PCGS. 415.3 grains. Edge lettering crushed.
3. King of Siam Presentation Specimen: The following pedigree is conjectural before circa the 1950s: 1834, November: Adam Eckfeldt, chief coiner at the Philadelphia Mint. Coined to the order of U.S. State Department, for inclusion in a set of specimen coins for diplomatic presentation. | 1835: Placed aboard the U.S.S. Peacock in the custody of Edmund Roberts. | 1836, April 6: Presented by Special Agent Edmund Roberts as a gift from President Jackson for King Ph’ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of Siam; April 6 seems to be the correct date, contrary to previously published information. | 1836-1868: In the possession of the royal family of Siam, passing from Rama III to his half-brother, Rama IV, a.k.a. King Mongkut, who died in 1868. The line of descent through the 1950s is conjectural. | 1869, October 18: Following the death of his father on this date, 15-year-old Chulalongkorn became king. Known as Rama V. King Chulalongkorn died on October 23, 1910. | 19th century: Anna Leonowens, who was known as Anna of Siam. Certain of her accounts of life in Siam, including certain aspects of her relationship with Rama IV, have been proved fictional by scholars. Thus, the pedigree leap from this point to David F. Spink is highly conjectural. In 1962, Newman and Bressett commented: “No facts have been disclosed concerning how the set left Siam or where it has reposed over the years.” | Believed to have been descended through the Leonowens family. | 1950s: Two older ladies who were believed by David F. Spink to have been descendants of Anna Leonowens, brought the set to Spink & Son of London. The half dime and the with-motto 1834 $2.50 gold coin were missing from the set by this time. | 1950s-1979: Owned by David F. Spink, personally, with no benefit to the firm. As Spink was an owner of the firm, he had the right to do this. Displayed at the American Numismatic Association Convention, 1962, there becoming the center of much interest and attention. | 1979: Lester Merkin, agent for David F. Spink. At the time, Lester received some criticism from Spink & Sons staff members, although Lester was simply acting as agent for David F. Spink. The price of the set was $1 million, although the eventual transaction also involved some coins taken in trade. | 1979-1989: Elvin I. Unterman, Garrison, NY. Exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, 1983. | 1987: Lester Merkin, agent for Elvin I. Unterman. | 1987, October 14: Bowers and Merena, King of Siam Sale, lot 2209. The set was reserved by the consignor; reserve not met. | 1989, October 18: Stack’s, agent for the owner. Sold on this date. | 1989-1990: The Rarities Group and Continental Rarity Coin Fund I | 1990, May: Superior Galleries. Included in the catalog titled as the Father Flanagan Boys Town Sale, May 27-29, 1990, lot 3364. | 1990-1993: Iraj Sayah and Terry Brand | 1993: Superior Galleries, auction of January 31 and February 1, 1993, lot 1196. Sold to Dwight Manley, on the staff of and bidding for Spectrum Numismatics, Santa Ana, California. | 1993 to 2005: Private Western collection. On public display as part of the Treasures of Mandalay Museum in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Museum in Las Vegas, NV, beginning on March 3, 1999 | Sold by Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles of Beverly Hills, California, to Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers of Dana Point, California on November 1, 2005, as part of the fabled King of Siam Proof set for the record price of $8.5 million. | Private collector. | Details of this specimen: Proof-67. 415.5 grains. Edge lettering crushed.
4. Sultan of Muscat Presentation Specimen: 1834, November: Adam Eckfeldt, chief coiner at the Philadelphia Mint. Coined to the order of U.S. State Department, for inclusion in a set of specimen coins for diplomatic presentation. | 1835: Placed aboard the U.S.S. Peacock in the custody of Edmund Roberts. | 1835, October 1: Presented by Special Agent Edmund Roberts to the following: | 1835-1856. Sayyid Sa’id-bin-Sultan in cased presentation set of 1834. At the time the Sultan of Muscat was the most prominent factor in commercial trade in the northern and western reaches of the Indian Ocean. | 1856 to 1867 or 1868: Exact dates and intermediaries unknown. Possibly in the hands of a London numismatist by the latter time. | 1867 or 1868 to 1917: Charles A. Watters, Liverpool, England. By this time the coins were no longer in their original presentation case. Watters acquired the 1804 dollar in 1867 or 1868, possibly from a source in London, this per a letter from Watters, June 27, 1879, to Jeremiah Colburn. | 1917, June 14-15: Messrs. Glendining & Co., Ltd., London, sale of Part II the Watters Collection. Lot 227, the 1804 dollar, was sold on June 15 for £330. “Excessively rare, in perfect condition, considered one of the finest specimens known.” Other silver coins representing a partial presentation set of 1834 were sold separately. | 1917-1918: Henry Chapman. Displayed at the 1917 ANA Convention in Rochester, NY. Sold by Chapman on June 20, 1918, for $2,500 to Virgil M. Brand | 1918-1926: Virgil M. Brand. | 1926-1933: Virgil M. Brand estate. | 1932, November 18: Appraised for $3,500 by Burdette G. Johnson. | 1933, November 1 to Armin W. Brand, via the Brand estate division. | 1933 November, or later, but by 1942: Traded by Armin W. Brand to his brother, Horace Louis Philip Brand. | 1942-1945: On consignment from Horace Louis Philip Brand to Charles E. Green and Ruth Green. Offered in The Numismatist, April 1942, p. 348. | 1945, August 10: Sold by Horace Louis Philip Brand and his former wife Erna M. Brand to Ruth and Charles E. Green, price $3,150. Advertised in The Numismatist, September 1945, p. 998 | 1945, October 1: F. Newell Childs recommended that his father, Charles Frederick Childs, buy the coin. Sold by R. Green and C.E. Green to the following, for $5,000. Paid for the next day. | 1945 to 1952: Charles Frederick Childs for his son, Frederick Newell Childs. | 1952: Given with the Childs coin collection to Charles Frederick Childs II, age eight, whose father, F. Newell Childs, acted as custodian. | 1952-1999: C.F. Childs II and family. | 1999, August 30: Walter H. Childs Collection sale, Auctions by Bowers and Merena, Inc. Sold to the following for a world’s record auction price at the time for any coin, $4,140,000. Held at the Park Lane Hotel, New York City, the Childs Collection sale drew hundreds of participants as well as worldwide television and press coverage. | 1999, August 30: Brent Pogue and his father, Mack Pogue, whose winning bid was handled at the sale by dealer David W. Akers. | Gem Proof-68. 416.7 grains. Edge lettering crushed. Blue and iridescent toning. Lightly struck at certain star centers. The finest-quality specimen of the 1804 dollar.
5. Dexter Specimen 1834-1840s, circa: Struck sometime during this period, by or under the direction of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. Most likely coined circa the mid-1830s along with the other Class I coins. | 19th century: Unknown intermediaries, perhaps someone connected with the Mint or, likely, a descendant. | 1884, circa: S. Hudson Chapman and Henry Chapman, Jr., known as the Chapman brothers, Philadelphia coin dealers. Apparently “laundered” through the following, to disguise its having come from the Chapmans. | 1884, October 14: Adolph Weyl sale, Berlin, Germany, lot 159. | 1884-1885: Chapman brothers, who bought their own coin, but now it had an exotic, if contrived pedigree to a German cabinet. | 1885, May 14-15: Chapman brothers sale, lot 354. Described by the Chapmans as a “great gem.” | 1885: J.W. Scott, Scott Stamp & Coin Company. Per the Chapman brothers description in their 1885 sale, this was said: “S.H. and H. Chapman purchased October 1884, at a sale in Berlin, and resold to a Mr. Scott, a dealer in coins, for $1,000 at their Philadelphia sale, in May 1885.” Scott was agent for the following. | 1885-1899: James Vila Dexter, Denver, Colorado. In his infinite wisdom, Dexter seems to have taken a “D” punch and counterstamped his initial on a cloud on the reverse. | 1899-1903: Dexter estate. | 1903, November 5: Roland G. Parvin, Union Deposit & Trust Co., Denver, executor of the Dexter estate. Sold on this date, after much correspondence with the numismatic community. | 1903-1904: H.G. Brown, Portland, Oregon | 1904, October 11: Lyman H. Low, Part I of the Brown Collection, lot 431. | 1904-1939: William Forrester Dunham, Chicago. Exhibited by Dunham including at the February 4, 1910, meeting of the Chicago Numismatic Society | 1939-1941: B. Max Mehl, who purchased the Dunham collection for his inventory. | 1941, June 3: B. Max Mehl, Dunham Collection, lot 1058. Sold privately to Charles M. Williams, price $4,250, before the “auction” took place; Williams also bought another rarity, the 1822 $5, from the Dunham sale privately beforehand, and had his pick of anything else he wanted. | 1941-1949: Charles M. Williams, Cincinnati, Ohio. | 1949: Abe Kosoff and Sol Kaplan, purchasers from Williams. | 1949-1981: Harold Bareford. | 1981, October 22-23: Stack’s, Bareford Collection, lot 424. | 1981-1985: RARCOA, Chicago, Illinois. | 1985-1989: Leon Hendrickson and George Weingart. | 1989, July 7: RARCOA, Auction ’89, lot 247. | 1989-?: American Rare Coin Fund, L.P., Hugh Sconyers, financial manager, Kevin Lipton, numismatic manager. | 1990s, early: Northern California collector. | 1993, July: Superior Galleries sale. Reserve not met; returned to consignor. | 1994, May 30-31: Superior Galleries sale. | 1994: Harlan White, proprietor of the Old Coin Shop, San Diego, California. | Private Southeastern collection. | Stack’s 65th Anniversary Sale, October 2000, lot 1167, which realized $1.84 million. | Private Texas collection. | Proof-65. 415.8 grains. Edge lettering crushed. D counterstamped on a cloud on the reverse.
6. Parmelee Specimen 1834 to 1840s: Most likely coined circa the mid-1830s along with the other Class I coins, by or under the direction of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. | 1840s, late, to 1868: In the possession of the acquirer, then to an unknown “lady,” allegedly bought from the Mint by a person unknown, for face value during the administration of James Knox Polk, 1845-1849. If so, this was a trade with the Mint Cabinet or an official, the details of which are not known today. | Alternatively, there is this somewhat related account in Counterfeit, Mis-Struck and Unofficial Coins, by Don Taxay, page 82: “In 1868 a specimen [of the rare 1804 dollar] was purchased by E.H. Sanford from an elderly lady who claimed to have obtained it from the Mint during Polk’s administration.” The “aged lady” gave the coin to her son, per the story, and the coin was sold to E. Harrison Sanford | 1868: Owned by the son of the above mentioned lady, but apparently sold by May 1868. | 1868-1874; E. Harrison Sanford. | 1874, November 27: Edward D. Cogan, Sanford Collection, lot 99. | 1874-1890: Lorin G. Parmelee. During this time he also bought and sold the Cohen coin | 1890, June: Offered for sale by Ed. Frossard in Numisma, apparently on consignment from Parmelee. | 1890, June 25-27: New York Coin & Stamp Company, Parmelee Collection, lot 817. | 1890-1891: Byron Reed. | 1891-1980s: Omaha City Library, Omaha, Nebraska. | 1980s to date: Transferred in the 1980s for display to Western Heritage Museum, Omaha, currently known as the Durham Western Heritage Museum. | Proof-63, flat stars. 416.1 grains. Later certified as Proof-64 by ICG. Friction in fields. Edge lettering crushed.
7. Mickley Specimen. 1834-5, circa: Probably struck sometime during this period, by or under the direction of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. | 1830s or 1840s: Possibly traded or sold to a numismatist or other collector, or placed into circulation by someone at the State Department after its presentation set was returned as undelivered. | 1850s: Henry C. Young, a teller for the Bank of Pennsylvania, c.1850, supposedly retrieved from a deposit at face value. | 1859, prior to, until 1867: Joseph J. Mickley. | 1867, October 28: W. Elliot Woodward, Mickley Collection, lot 1696. The April 1868 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics stated the buyer was Cogan, but William A. Lilliendahl seems to have owned it in the meantime, perhaps acquiring it via Cogan as his agent. Indeed, the next issue of the same journal noted: “Since the sale of Mr. Mickley’s genuine and original piece of this denomination to Mr. Lilliendahl, last fall, and its subsequent acquisition by Mr. Appleton.” | 1867: Edward D. Cogan, briefly if at all. | 1867-1868: William A. Lilliendahl, who bought it at the Mickley sale, later selling it to the following for cash and some coins | 1868, February: Edward D. Cogan, who around this time became quite interested in the history of the 1804 dollar. Traded to the following in the same month. | 1868-1903: William Sumner Appleton. | 1903-1905: William Sumner Appleton estate. | 1905-1970: Massachusetts Historical Society. | 1970, October 23-24: Stack’s, Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, lot 625. | 1970-1974: Chicago private collection. | 1974, January: Bought by Stack’s, agent for the following. | 1974-1993: Reed Hawn. | 1993, October 13-14: Stack’s, Reed Hawn Collection, lot 735. | 1993 to 2008 David Queller Collection. | April 2008, Heritage Galleries sale of the Queller Collection, lot 2089, there graded Proof-62 | Joseph C. Thomas Collection. | Earlier graded as Proof-50. 416.4 grains. Edge lettering crushed.
8. Cohen Specimen. 1834-5, circa: Probably struck sometime during this period, by or under the direction of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. | 1830s-1860s: Unknown intermediaries. | 1865, circa: Purchased “over the counter” at the exchange office of Edward Cohen, Richmond, Virginia. | 1865-1875: Col. Mendes I. Cohen, Baltimore, Maryland. | 1875, October 15: Edward D. Cogan, Cohen Collection, lot 535. | 1875-1876: Henry S. Adams, Boston, Massachusetts. | 1876, November 1: Edward D. Cogan, Adams Collection, lot 356. | 1876-1878: Lorin G. Parmelee. Sold by Parmelee after he bought the Sanford Collection coin, No. 6 in the above list. | 1878: Henry G. Sampson, dealer intermediary. | 1878-1906: Major William Boerum Wetmore, New York City, New York. | 1906, June 27-28: Chapman brothers, Wetmore Collection, lot 208. | 1906, June: Chapman brothers | 1906, summer: Thomas L. Elder. Bought for inventory from one of the Chapman brothers, who had dissolved their partnership. Sold in July 1906 to the following. | 1906-1921: James H. Manning, Albany, New York. | 1921, May 17: B. Max Mehl, Manning Collection, lot 778. | 1921-1922: Elmer S. Sears. | 1922: B. Max Mehl, who sold it to the following. | 1922-1952: Lammot DuPont | 1952-1994: Willis H. du Pont. Included in the armed robbery of the du Pont coins in Florida, October 5, 1967. Recovered on April 23, 1993, in Zurich, Switzerland. | 1994: Donated to the American Numismatic Association where it is one of the foremost attractions of the ANA Museum VF-30. 410.2 grains. Many nicks and scratches. Edge lettering crushed.
Draped Bust $1 coins are rare in most grades. These coins are known for their beautiful design and attention to detail. If you have one of these coins, please contact one of our local coin experts to have your rare coin appraised. We offer free rare coin appraisals and would love to buy your coin. Our rare coin price guide should give you all the information you need, but if you need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of rare coin experts.