Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 4, 2011

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Obverse of a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar

The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. Minted in 1794 and 1795, the size and weight of the coin were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas. In 1791, following a study by Alexander Hamilton, Congress passed a joint resolution calling for the establishment of a national mint. Later that year, in his third State of the Union address, President George Washington urged Congress to provide for a mint, which was officially authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. Despite the authorization, silver and gold coins were not struck until 1794. The Flowing Hair dollar, designed by Robert Scot, was initially produced in 1794, and again in 1795. In October 1795 the design was replaced by the Draped Bust dollar. In May 2010, a specimen striking from the 1794 production was sold in a private sale for $7.85 million, the highest selling price of any coin in history. (more...)

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