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: $11.10 (11/29/2015)
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

Expand All    Collapse All


There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/22/2015

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

1878 CC T$1 MS
Base $ 500 625 1125 2000 4550 5750 7250 9400 13000 20500 29000 36500 89500 155000 200000 - - - -
$ - - 7650 10750 14000 - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 84
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 CC T$1 MS
1878 CC T$1 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery

No Images Found

Related Articles

A Challenging Time for Coin Authenticators

8/11/2008  — Skip Fazzari looks at steady improvements in counterfeiting technique, and discusses why the 21st century is a challenging time for coin authenticators. Learn more about why it’s more important than ever to have your collectibles authenticated.
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer