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A guard in suit stands next to a one-dollar coin glimmering in a showcase at the National Museum on Wednesday afternoon.
Like a magpie I feel the pull to the shiny object, which is just slightly bigger than a two-euro coin. After convincing the guard that I won’t smirk the glass or try anything stupid, he lets me to eyeball closer. The dollar shines like new, the waves of flowing hair of the goddess of Liberty crystal clear as in a miniature advertisement for the contemporary Wella in 1794.
The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is the first American dollar struck, the finest known (150 left in the world), and was on display at the National Museum just for a few days, then it was transferred to an exhibition in Stockholm.
The shiny object comes with a serious price tag, though: slightly over 10,000,000 US dollars – the highest price ever paid or a coin.
That’s how much an American coin collector, Bruce Morelan, bid for it in an in an auction in January 2013. Morelan, a millionaire with a Finnish ex-wife, knows Finland well. His son is half-Finnish.
On Wednesday, the coin was introduced to the members of the media and then for a VIP crowd with an average age of 60. “What a pancake!” one lady exclaimed after rubbing her nose on the glass.
There were also a group of students browsing the museum for a school assignment, but they didn’t dare to take a closer look of the goddess of Liberty.
“The price is 10 million euros?” one student said in wonder.” Should I try to steal it . . . But I don’t want to die.”