Q. David Bowers
Mintage (all types)
Calendar year, Mint report: 203,033
Coins bearing date, author's estimate: 390,000
1795 SILVER DOLLARS
BB to Bolender to Haseltine Equivalents
Mintage figures and estimates: The government figures, per the annual Mint report, stated that 203,033 silver dollars were coined in calendar year 1795.
Based upon the number of 1795-dated dollars in the 1878 Economite hoard and the number certified today, I estimate that about 390,000 were struck bearing the 1795 date. I believe that nearly 185,000 of these were struck in later years, through 1798. Further information concerning these and other estimates may be found in Appendix II. These estimates are based upon the frequency of appearance of coins in the Economite hoard unearthed in 1878, coins certified since 1986-7 by PCGS and NGC, and quantities believed to exist in numismatic circles today.
Walter H. Breen's estimates: Believing that Flowing Hair dollars were made at the Mint at least through early autumn 1795, and Draped Bust dollars were made after that, Walter H. Breen, in his Encyclopedia, has estimated that the mintage through and including October 10, 1795, consisted of Flowing Hair dollars, to the extent of 160,295 pieces, and that the last two deliveries of the year, on October 17 and 24, amounting to 42,738 coins, consisted of the Draped Bust type.
Author's estimates: As of October 1992, NGC and PCGS certified 692 specimens of the 1795 dollar, divided into 493 Flowing Hair dollars (71% of total) and 199 Draped Bust dollars (29%).
If these percentages are applied to the 390,000 1795-dated dollars I believe were struck, the estimated mintage (rounded off) of 1795-dated Flowing Hair dollars is 280,000, and that of 1795-dated Draped Bust dollars is 110,000.
I caution the reader to remember that these estimates are simply that: estimates. As one estimate is used to create another, we have the situation of estimates being built upon other estimates, and the reliability diminishes. Because of this, all estimated figures should be taken as approximations. The way I see it, while the certification service percentages of 71 % and 29% are as good as any, perhaps the truth is really 68% and 32%, or 75% and 25%, or whatever. We are dealing with concepts, not with mathematical precision. However, these concepts are a valuable aid to understanding the relationships among early dollar types and varieties. Further, although the relative availability of surviving Flowing Hair types and Draped Bust dollars can be observed, and coinages can be estimated from these numbers, there is no documentation that the Draped Bust dollars were first struck in autumn 1795. There is always the possibility that they could have been made later.