Prototype of first U.S. silver dollar goes up for auction

This undated photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows the back of a piece of copper that was struck by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1794 and was a prototype for the fledgling nation's money. The item, which is known as the “No Stars Flowing Hair Dollar,"  is owned by businessman and Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson and will go up for auction at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on Friday, April 23, 2021. (Emily Clements/Heritage Auctions via AP)

This undated photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows the back of a piece of copper that was struck by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1794 and was a prototype for the fledgling nation’s money. The item, which is known as the “No Stars Flowing Hair Dollar,” was owned by businessman and Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson. (Emily Clements/Heritage Auctions via AP)

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UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Saturday, April 24, 2021

The prototype of the United States’ first silver dollar coin went up for auction in Dallas. Known as the “No Stars Flowing Hair Dollar,” the object was put up for auction on Friday.

Made by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia 1794, Heritage Auctions estimated the coin could sell for up to $500,000.

While the coin got it’s name because of it’s missing stars, officials said collectors and institutions consider starless coins as “one of a kind prototypes for the silver examples that would follow.”

“So anytime we have a one of the first year of issue silver dollars from 1794 it is a great event, the silver ones in high grade can sell for millions of dollars,” Heritage Auctions executive president Todd Imhof said. “His particular prototype coin in copper hasn’t been auctioned off in over 20 years. So it is a very exciting event and it has gained attention from bidders from all over the world.”

The item was previously owned by Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson, who believes “coins should be appreciated almost as artwork.”

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