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It was the first clue that the coin was something singular, said McCarthy, a senior researcher for the coin and collectibles firm Kagin's.McCarthy staked his company's money to buy the coin for $1.18 million at the 2013 auction.After nearly four years of research, he is now making an exhaustive case that this silver piece is indeed the first American coin, the precursor of what would circulate a decade later as the U.S. dollar.It was well-known among collectors that a first coin existed.It had initially been found in 1860, about 15 years after the similar coin with the "new constellation" inscription.In terms of the coin's possible value, Garrett said the closest comparison was a 1794 silver dollar that sold for more than $10 million four years ago.
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