Dollar, United States, 1804 (Class Three)

Employees at the Mint continued to strike 1804 dollars illegally through the late 1870s. It is thought that around half a dozen were created, some for sale, perhaps in European auctions, to give them an air of plausibility; others for trade, to acquire rare coins that the Mint Cabinet lacked. Six of these coins, called "class three" dollars, to distinguish them from the 1834 "class two" dollars, have been traced.
The Smithsonian's class three 1804 dollar has a checkered history. It was initially the property of Mint Director H. R. Linderman and was probably struck to his order. However, when it appeared in his estate, his widow came up with the story that he bought it on time payments from a coin dealer.
Eventually this coin was purchased by Willis DuPont. It was stolen in the 1967 armed robbery of the DuPont Collection and retrieved early in 1982. It came to the Smithsonian Institution in 1994. It exhibits the weak strike on the central devices shared by the other members of class three.
Object Name
date made
issuing authority
United States Mint
U.S. Mint. Philadelphia
obverse designer
Scot, Robert
reverse designer
Scot, Robert
obverse engraver
Eckstein, John
reverse engraver
Eckstein, John
Physical Description
silver (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: .3 cm x 3.94 cm; 1/8 in x 1 9/16 in
place made
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Coins, Currency and Medals
Legendary Coins
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Legendary Coins
The Value of Money
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Willis H. duPont
Publication title
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Publication URL
Additional Media

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