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: $12.18 (12/25/2014)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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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: 7/30/2014

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1859 S S$1 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 385 525 740 1375 2250 2250 3650 4400 5250 8150 11000 12000 15000 34000 - 140000 - - - - -
$ 2500 4000 4800 5750 8850 - - - - 70000 - - - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 140
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
12/7/1998 PCGS VF 30   Teletrade Auction 1112, 1112/Lot# 1755 $599.50
2/20/2005 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1705 $4,485.00
1/9/2008 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #454, 454/Lot# 2944 $12,650.00
8/11/2011 PCGS F 12   Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature US Coin & Platinum Night Auction Session(6), 1158/Lot# 10711 $920.00
1/19/2012 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 655, 662/Lot# 7047 $2,599.00
2/28/2012 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 8071 $3,047.50
11/29/2012 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2012 November 29 - December 2 US Coin Signature Auction - Houston Session(1), 1177/Lot# 3837 $9,106.25
7/21/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/21/2013, 84/Lot# 125904 $990.00


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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