My First US Silver Dollar!
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Although I bid on many world lots, the first win of the year was an 1846-O Seated Liberty $1

 

Happy New Year fellow collectors! I started my New Year by participating in several of the big world coin auctions held in January, but failed to win lots, including any of the 8 reales from Guatemala that our esteemed NGC registry colleague, Isaac Rudman, offered in the Heritage World & Ancient Coins Auction in New York. So my first win of the year was a US coin from the Orlando FUN auction.

 

This particular coin has been on my want list after I was made aware of an interesting book published in 1845, "A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad", written by Dr. John Leonard Riddell, during his appointment as melter and refiner of the New Orleans Mint. The book catalogs the silver dollars circulating in the US at the time (1833-1844) and includes facsimile images and assay data on 425 different varieties, providing a reference to help distinguish between the genuine and counterfeit. It is an exhaustively researched snapshot of US specie and an important historical record.

 

What I find so fascinating, as an 8 reales collector, is the following quote: "More than 90 per cent. of the Dollars in general circulation in this country, bear the Mexican stamp. This arises from two facts: 1st. There is far more silver produced from the mines of Mexico, than from the mines of all the world besides: 2d. It is, and has been, the policy of that government, to prevent the export of uncoined bullion, the government deriving a large revenue from its coinage, amounting, I have been informed, to 10 per cent. During the days of Spanish rule, near $23,000,000 in silver were annually obtained from the mines; since the Mexican independence probably $15,000,000 would more nearly express the annual amount. The Mexican Dollar, at the present day, holds the place in the commerce of the world, held forty years ago by the famous Spanish American Pillar Dollar."

 

And to further explain why early US dollars are so expensive to collect, "The coinage of Dollars in the United States, virtually commencing in 1795, has never been large. The policy of our government has been to issue a great preponderance of halves, and the smaller denominations of coins, under the impression that they would be less likely to be exported from the country."

 

So, for my first US silver dollar, I selected the first one issued by the New Orleans Mint, a coin of melted and refined silver with a significant proportion from 8 reales coins that were removed from circulation.

~jack

15078.JPG

 

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Jack,

WHAT ??? That is not 8 reales :)

That is a swell U S Dollar there. I truly like the seated dollars. Are you changing over on us this year?? I was surprised when I saw the journal.

 

Rick

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Congratulations! That's a gorgeous dollar! You're correct about Mexican silver coins being melted and refined to mint US coinage at New Orleans. The proximity of New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico made it a perfect place for trade with Mexico. Back then coins were only minted as silver and foreign silver coins were exchanged at the mint for US coinage.

Gary

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I like it a lot. This is one of those where one wishes that the reverse had the power to raise a grade, because that's an especially pretty reverse.

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I love it!

 

I really like the Liberty Seated series of any denomination and that one has some nice detail and the same year the Liberty Bell was cracked.

 

Sweet!

 

 

 

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Thank you all for your kind comments, and no, Rick, I'm not switching to US coins. I'm working on an open ended type set of silver dollar sized coins from around the world and this one is my US representative. ~jack

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