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The 1794 No Stars Flowing Hair dollar in copper, obverse (all images courtesy Heritage Auctions)

A rare copper prototype for the first United States dollar coin,described as the “first dollar — copper, silver, or otherwise — struck at the United States mint,”以840,000美元的价格在达拉斯的遗产拍卖中销售超过其低估计数。在1794年在1794年在费城,美国首都在全国初期,实验“没有星星流动的头发”美元为第一批银币奠定了基础,这是同年创造的。

在...之前Coinage (Mint) Act of 1792, the US lacked a standardized national coinage system. During the Revolutionary War, both Congress and the states had the right to mint money or issue banknotes; bartering and foreign coins were also viewed as acceptable forms of payment. Continentals, the paper currency issued by Congress to fund the costly war effort, quickly became worthless — too many were printed, and they weren’t backed by a tangible asset — and the US found itself in a currency crisis. The US Constitution, drafted in 1787 and fully ratified in 1790, put the creation of a national coinage system in the hands of Congress.

两年后,薄荷法案建立了一个国家美国薄荷,并制定了新货币的设计和指出。美元或“单位”在银中铸造,是货币的基本单位。最高价值的硬币,10美元的“鹰,”在黄金中被铸造,而最低有价值,半百分之一是由铜制成的。罗伯特苏格兰人在大部分构思的早期硬币设计是在1793年在1793年成为美国薄荷的首席雕塑的苏格兰移民,在铜中试验,这将留下更清晰的印象。

The 1794 No Stars Flowing Hair dollar in copper, reverse

其他设计规范提出了游击队ress, each coin was required to have “an impression emblematic of liberty” on one side and “the figure or representation of an eagle” on the other. While the final design issued in 1794 featured Lady Liberty encircled by decorative stars, the earlier “No Stars Flowing Hair” dollar depicts Liberty, her locks flowing, on a barer coin without stars. As the Mint Act did not stipulate that stars were to be a design element, coin expert Michael Hodder wrote in the August 1989 issue ofThe Numismatist, it may be starless copper rarities like this one that “represent a literal interpretation of the wording of the Mint Act of 1792” and are “the only survivors from 1794 that show the originally intended appearance of our very earliest silver coinage.”

“It’s all in the stars,” Jacob Lipson, a coin specialist at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement from the auction house. “Similar ‘starless coins,’ such as a copper half dime, are held in theSmithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collectionand this copper dollar is considered the companion piece to the half dime.” The 227-year-old copper coin is not in perfect condition; a combination of corrosion and collecting lore indicates that it was buried at the first Philadelphia Mint before being unearthed in 1876.

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Cassie Packard

Cassie Packard is an NYC-based writer and cultural critic with bylines at publications including Artforum, BOMB, frieze, and Los Angeles Review of Books. She is a regular contributor to Hyperallergic.

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