Silver Dollars - The primary unit of value created by our Founding Fathers.
Silver Dollars were the primary unit of value created by our Founding Fathers. However, more than two years went by before the U.S. Mint began production in 1794 with the Flowing Hair variety.
Congress caused the delay in production by forcing the chief coiner and assayer to post huge bonds in order to work with the precious metals used in making the coins. The bonds were more than six times either man's yearly salary. In the end, with the help of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, the bonds were lowered and met. With this pre-requisite completed coinage of gold and silver coins could begin.
It was customary to design coins according to the metal they were made of. All copper coins should have relatively the same design as well as the silver and gold denominations. Hence, the dollar, half-dollar, and half-dimes were all of the flowing hair variety.
Silver Dollar coins were struck first because they carried the most prestige. The mint encountered many difficulties in striking these coins. Some of the problems included dies wearing out prematurely as well as coining presses breaking under the intense pressure needed to make the coins. Due to the difficulties the Mint Director made the decision to begin production of half-dollars as they were lighter and easier to produce. Half-dollars also filled the need for coins in daily commerce.
This denomination ranged from the Flowing Hair variety of 1794 to Morgan silver dollars to my all-time favorite the Peace dollar. The Presidential Dollar series is being made currently and will span ten years from 2007 to 2016. This series will depict four different presidents each year.
Throughout the years the Mint has made several different varieties of the dollar coin. They are listed below in sequential order.