From the NGC Archives: 1877-S Trade Dollar

Posted on 7/15/2009

This month, NGC takes a look back in history through a trade dollar in fine condition. Read on for more details.

1877 S Trade Dollar
click to enlarge
 
1877 S Trade Dollar (Reverse)
click to enlarge

Merchants in Southeast Asia showed a marked preference for silver over gold, and the primary media of exchange were eight-reale pieces of Mexico, commonly known as Mexican dollars. Between 1865 and 1895 several Western nations introduced their own trade dollars to compete in that valued market, enjoying varying degrees of success.

The United States trade dollar debuted in 1873 and was initially given legal tender status in this country. It had already been demonetized when this specimen was coined at the San Francisco Mint in 1877. Intended for shipment to Asia, its fine condition suggests that it never actually made that journey. Though quite a number of mint state examples survive, precious few are gems. Coined from fresh dies, its strike is superb. Bright and faintly prooflike fields contrast with its richly frosted devices. Exceptionally clean surfaces are accompanied by light toning of golden tan around the borders.

Are you interested in Trade Dollars? Click here to visit the NGC Coin Encyclopedia and read more.