U.S. to exhibit the first silver dollar

The first silver dollar ever struck by the United States has been identified, 210 years after it was coined, experts say.

The Colorado Springs-based American Numismatic Association, which plans to display the coin free to the public beginning in mid-April, will announce the news today.

Former association President Kenneth Bressett said that while it's impossible to say with 100 percent certainty that the U.S. dollar was the very first struck, its details are so crisp that it was certainly among the first.

"Until someone walks up to me with a coin in an earlier state that looks better, I'd consider it the first," said John Dannreuther, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Unlike others of the roughly 130 surviving 1794 U.S. dollars, the coin that Rare Coin Wholesalers President Steven Contursi bought last year is in mint condition, as determined by PCGS and Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The condition of the coin suggests it was specially struck and preserved, report &to=http://www.rockymountainnews.com' target=_blank>RockyMountainNews.com

Experts said it's impossible to say for certain that the coin was the very first U.S. silver dollar struck, but its details are so crisp that it certainly was among the first. The coin, which has only a few scratches, features images of Lady Liberty ringed with stars on the front and an eagle on the back.

Steven Contursi, owner of Rare Coin Wholesalers, bought the coin last year from an unidentified owner and said he spent "multimillions." It is insured for $10 million.

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