Coin Specifications

Category: Trade Dollars (1873-1885)
Mint: Carson City
Mintage: 97,000
Catalog: KM-108
Obverse Designer: William Barber
Reverse Designer: William Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 27.2200g
ASW: 0.7876oz
Melt Value: $15.37 (8/31/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1878 CC T$1 MS obverse 1878 CC T$1 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The Coinage Act of 1873 damned the silver dollar by omission rather than commission, removing it from the list of authorized coinage denominations and effectively denying its legal tender status. Powerful Western silver interests, however, supported the unlimited coinage of silver, and the 'Crime of '73' propelled the formation of the Free Silver movement. Among the factions who aligned to support increased silver coinage were the Western silver mining interests, farmers who hoped that an expanded currency would increase crop prices, and debtors who hoped they could repay their debts in depreciated currency. While anyone could purchase Trade dollars from the Mint by exchanging 378 grains of silver, that amount in 1873 was worth $1.022 in gold. A coining fee was levied in addition, making Trade dollars no bargain. As silver prices continued to trend downward, however, Trade dollars gained in attractiveness to bullion depositors. Others protested the then-overvalued Trade dollars, and in 1876 the Treasury revoked their legal tender status for domestic commerce. Rusty Goe's The Mint on Carson Street continues the story thusly: 'This stripped bullion depositors of their domestic profit-making opportunities, although there were still advantages from exportation. In general, the public was baffled by trade dollars, and exploitation permeated the country. Unwary merchants and consumers were assured by licentious brokers that trade dollars were worth one dollar in gold, or close to it. Then, upon attempting to use them for payment, merchants and retail customers alike were subject to losses due to discounting. Finally, in October of 1877 a proposal was made to discontinue further issuance of trade dollars, but since orders were pending for more trade dollars to be exported to China, the authorization to cease production did not come until February of 1878.

By then the Carson City Mint had manufactured 97,000 1878-CC trade dollars. ...' The 1878-CC issue has the lowest business-strike mintage by a considerable margin in the Trade dollar series, with the 1873-CC second. By 1878, the Free Silver supporters had achieved a major victory in the passage of the Bland-Allison Act, which provided that the Treasury purchase from $2 million to $4 million per month of domestic silver, to be coined into silver dollars of the new Morgan design. The mints in Philadelphia and San Francisco performed yeoman service in each producing about 10 million coins (all varieties), give or take, and even the Carson City Mint manufactured a respectable 2.2 million pieces of the new Morgan design. General confusion and dissatisfaction with the Trade dollar, along with the introduction of the new 'Bland' dollar, doomed the Trade dollar to what now seems a just and well-deserved fate. The last year for business-strike Trade dollars was 1878, although proof coins struggled along for a few more years.

The 1878-CC is a notable rarity in all grades, and is especially challenging in mint condition.

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: 8/27/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1878 CC T$1 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 500 625 1125 2000 4350 4350 5750 7250 9000 12500 17000 18500 26500 33500 86000 155000 200000 - - - -
$ 4750 6000 7650 10350 13500 18000 22500 30000 - - - - - -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 83
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
10/28/1998 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 1100, 1100/Lot# 1709 $2,407.50
3/24/2010 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2010 March Fort Worth, TX Signature ANA US Coin Auction #1138, 1138/Lot# 1259 $80,500.00
2/3/2013 PCGS XF 45   Goldberg February 3-6, 2013 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 72/Lot# 1385 $4,197.50
2/22/2013 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 3302 $9,987.50
8/18/2013 PCGS VF 35   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 765, 774/Lot# 61 $3,500.00
12/5/2013 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1192/Lot# 3697 $8,812.50
12/8/2013 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/08/2013, 104/Lot# 149029 $1,320.00
8/5/2014 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1208/Lot# 5604 $18,800.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 CC T$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base9251110123314612274309434313726457850315606593963297022746611047137231510017129193552178724438
986115113091732254732063529401047295222571760696560717086591193914182157761787120165226700
000000352940104729522257176069656071708659119391418215776178712016500
000000362742944880541458286199679173189853128311464116452186132097600
1878 CC T$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base9831177130515432388323735853890476952355827617165717283774011413141521556017635199072239025095
1047121913841824267133533686418349245432594163046808743589641232614621162511839220734232910
000000368641834924543259416304680874358964123261462116251183922073400
0000003788447650795629605664377045758710188132391509016943191492156200
Registry Image Gallery

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