"Comes the Goldberg pre-Long Beach May 25-27 auction catalogue and I note lot 4000- a decent-appearing 1794 dollar NCS graded Details of VF 20 . By golly! The exact same obverse -only surface pin pricks, identical in depth and nature to the Eliasberg coin's but this time more numerous. The Goldberg catalogue's only reference to these surface pricks is "small obverse marks". I'd surmise that the slightly greater number of these marks on this dollar resulted in NCS grading this coin whereas the Eliasberg dollar made it into a PCGS holder.
"I wonder about these identical sharp pointed, slightly angled "jabs" in the metal surface on only 1794 dollars. Can anyone enlighten the hobby? My best guess is early on in the US Mint the 1794 dollars were struck and then shunted aside by some counting/sorting device with sharp points like a large fork. And that the Mint quickly substituted the device when the surface damage was noted. Or a similar device at an early central counting bank which, when noting the damage done to the country's then greatest coin, quickly abandoned the device.
"To the best of my knowledge, these marks do not appear on dollars later than 1794 nor on early halves. Why?
"One other hypothesis occurred to me relating to the sharp surface punctures on the Eliasberg and Goldberg dollars: that this was done by some ignorant fool in the 1790's with a knife and too much time on his hands. But this can be discounted - what are the odds of two such 1794 dollars still existing? And, more importantly, if these surface jabs were done by a vandal with a knife point, why isn't there any evidence on either dollar of a slip with the knife and some deep accidental gouges or scratches? No, this surface damage was done mechanically, and only on 1794 dollars."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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