Out of reach for most average coin collectors is the realm of the earliest silver dollars produced by the United States Mint. This generally encompasses the flowing hair and draped bust types, each of which include one extreme rarity. Although not everyone has the funds or motivation to purchase these coins, they represent a very important part of history. Thus, they are worth knowing about and studying to better appreciation of the hobby of collecting.
The early Mint in Philadelphia would strike the very first silver dollars in 1794. The quantity minted was about 2,000, but a mere 1,758 were deemed acceptable and released to the public for circulation. Of this limited number, it is estimated that just 130 or so pieces survive to the current day. These are highly prized and among the most expensive United States coins available.
Because of the portrayal of liberty on the coin with her hair flowing over her shoulders, the first silver dollar is known as the Flowing Hair dollar. This design was issued from 1794-1795 and the Draped Bust silver dollar followed from 1975-1804. The extreme rarity of this series is for the coins dated 1804. These were actually struck many years later as diplomatic gifts, providing a special status and very limited number of coins struck.
When buying one of these early silver dollars it is essential to remember that there are only a few of them around which means getting them certified is extremely important. It is recommended to look for existing accreditation from one of the finest grading services or have one of these services: NGC, PCGS, ANACS, or ICG, grade your coin.