Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 20,000
Catalog: KM-71
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $16.62 (7/13/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1859 S S$1 MS obverse 1859 S S$1 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The 1859-S has long enjoyed a place of honor in the annals of Silver Dollar coinage. The first issue of this denomination produced at the San Francisco Mint, the '59-S is also a low mintage date that is scarce, if not rare, in all grades. The reason for Seated Dollar coinage at San Francisco is not known with certainty. Bowers suggests that the proximity of California to the Orient made the San Francisco Mint an attractive facility to bullion depositors and merchants on the West Coast. Indeed, virtually the entire mintage of 1859-S Seated Dollars is believed to have been exported at the time of issue, melting overseas claiming most of these coins. However, the San Francisco Mint did not produce any more Seated Dollars until 1870, when an unknown, but presumably limited number of coins emerged from the presses. A further 9,000 S-mint coins were delivered in 1872, followed by a mere 700 examples in 1873. It seems likely that Chinese merchants no longer accepted U.S. Silver Dollars on par with their Mexican counterparts, and, by the second year of the Civil War, the United States' export of silver had begun to move away from the Orient and toward Latin America. When the federal government authorized the heavier Trade Dollar in 1873, U.S. merchants could once again compete aggressively on the Oriental market, and the San Francisco Mint became the primary producer of that new denomination.

Few 1859-S Seated Dollars were set aside at the time of production, and those Mint State coins that did survive probably did so purely by chance.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/16/2013

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1859 S S$1 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 385 525 740 1375 2250 2250 3650 4400 5250 8150 10750 11500 14750 28000 63500 131500 - - - - -
$ 2500 4000 4800 5750 8850 11800 12600 16000 35000 70000 142000 - - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 138
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/7/2009 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121, 1121/Lot# 9044 $1,955.00
7/25/2010 PCGS F 12   Teletrade Auction 2894, 2894/Lot# 2122 $833.75
8/15/2011 NGC MS 61   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 10555 $7,475.00
1/19/2012 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 655, 662/Lot# 7047 $2,599.00
4/24/2013 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions 2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago Session(2), 1184/Lot# 2412 $2,351.18
9/25/2013 PCGS   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 1627 $661.25
2/27/2014 NGC VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(1), 1203/Lot# 3629 $1,437.03
3/21/2014 PCGS VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 21 & 23 US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1198/Lot# 10466 $1,292.50
7/6/2014 PCGS VF 20   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 175385 $1,550.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S S$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3539653820990170722682699322935253912414148175922701484289588244153816360257960211
18157770887612291894241128753327365439884366518562867485881414530289974552772178960210
00000024112875332736543988436651856286748588141453028997455277217800
00000025553052342637834064459155536650795692011947233580528928409900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 7014
Owner: mr cool
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 4817
Owner: G & R coins
 
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