Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 255,700
Catalog: KM-71
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $12.44 (10/7/2015)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1859 S$1 MS obverse 1859 S$1 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

There is controversy among numismatists of the intended use and fate of the 1859 and 1860 Trade dollars. David Bowers and John Willem contend that all of the '59 and '60 silver dollars from the mints involved in their production were made primarily for export to China, where they were melted down and converted into bullion. Robert Julian, however, argues that the heavy coinage of silver dollars in 1859-1860 was more related to the heavy imbalance of silver imports and exports, and to the increased mining of silver beginning in 1859. He states: 'If there had been a real demand for the American silver dollar, there would have been no need for the Spanish or Mexican coin to be sent to the Far East. The minuscule coinage at San Francisco in 1859 (20,000 pieces) (when there were ample supplies of silver to be had...from the Comstock...or California) is a telling point against silver dollars being sent in quantity to the Orient.'

Whatever the case, examples of the high-mintage 1859 dollar (255,700 business strikes) are scarce today in all grades, especially in the better grades of Mint State.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/22/2015

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

1859 S$1 MS
Base $ 305 385 455 580 900 1350 1500 1850 2350 3450 4600 7100 16000 77500 - - - - -
$ 1000 - 1650 2050 2550 - 5000 7900 25000 - - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 78
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 64

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2004 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 930 $632.50
6/18/2006 PCGS MS 60   Teletrade Auction 2220, 2220/Lot# 1795 $2,800.00
8/15/2011 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 3054 $747.50
6/5/2013 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 June 5 - 9 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1186/Lot# 8431 $485.28
2/27/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(5), 1203/Lot# 7840 $528.75
3/2/2014 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 173643 $907.50
3/9/2014 NGC MS 86   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 794, 803/Lot# 733 $325.00
6/4/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 June 4 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1206/Lot# 8631 $646.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 2368
Owner: G & R coins
Grade: AU 50
Points: 2009
Owner: Carl Beeson
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