Coin Specifications

Category: Trade Dollars (1873-1885)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,162,000
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 S T$1 MS obverse 1878 S T$1 MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


Click on a coin to see VarietyPlus details.

Description & Analysis

The 1878-S Trade dollar issue marks an important nexus in the history of U.S. silver dollar production. The Trade dollars were on their last legs. The 1878 Carson City and San Francisco Trade dollars would prove to be the last circulation issues, the 1879-1883 were proof-only issues, and the famous 1884 and 1885 proofs were produced under suspicious circumstances not relevant here. In 1878 the Morgan dollars were seeing their initial year of production at those same mints.

The 1876-S through 1878-S Trade dollars were produced in quantities of 5.2 million, 9.5 million (a series record), and 4.2 million coins, respectively--enormous figures for any coin of the era. The 1878-S Morgan dollar took up the reins from the fading series, issued to the extent of 9.8 million pieces.

It is no coincidence that those enormous silver dollar production figures coincide with the peak years of Nevada's fabled Comstock Lode, which from 1876 through 1878 is estimated to have produced silver bullion worth about $36 million each year. The mine's bullion production would slowly dwindle until about 1892, when the 'bottom of the barrel' began to be scraped.

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 S T$1 MS
Base $ 120 140 160 190 285 360 400 500 735 1150 1475 2425 3450 16000 27500 67500 - - -
$ - - 435 550 815 - 1575 2700 4050 19850 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 1056
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 7771

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/1/1996 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 1996 May/June Long Beach Sale #157, 157/Lot# 7200 $4,620.00
7/26/2003 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2003 July Baltimore, MD. Signature Sale #328, 328/Lot# 8338 $460.00
1/3/2006 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2006 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Auction #394, 394/Lot# 4494 $7,762.50
9/10/2006 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 2843 $1,552.50
7/16/2012 NGC XF 40   Teletrade Auction 3312, 3312/Lot# 3373 $100.00
9/16/2012 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/16/2012, 40/Lot# 74492 $231.00
6/30/2014 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3488, 6037/Lot# 20588 $376.00
12/28/2014 PCGS AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 836, 845/Lot# 484 $320.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 S T$1 MS
1878 S T$1 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2705
Owner: JTO
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1953
Owner: Carl Beeson
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

NGC-Certified 1879 "Washlady" Dollar Brings $161,000 at Heritage COINFEST Auction

11/2/2010  — Demand for quality and rarity in US coin market continues to drive "very strong" prices.
View full article >
W. Philip Keller Collection of US Colonials Leads Heritage COINFEST Auction

10/12/2010  — The October 28-31 auction in Stamford, Conn., features one of the most important offerings of early-American coinage in decades.
View full article >
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