Think of it as the granddaddy of all silver dollars. The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar was the first of its kind, and its importance far exceeded its mintage and circulation. No wonder collectors prize the few examples that have survived.
The silver dollar was the backbone of the nation's decimal monetary system. On Aug. 8, 1776, Congress voted "that the money unit of the United States of America be one dollar, that the several pieces shall increase in decimal ratio, and that the small coin be a copper [half cent], of which 200 shall pay for one dollar."
The first U.S. Mint had not even been built yet, and an engraver had not been found and hired. So it wasn't until 1794 that the first silver dollars were created on a screw press at the Philadelphia Mint. . . .
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