Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 20,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.17 (10/18/2017)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
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1859 S S$1 MS obverse 1859 S S$1 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The 1859-S has long enjoyed a place of honor in the annals of Silver Dollar coinage. The first issue of this denomination produced at the San Francisco Mint, the '59-S is also a low mintage date that is scarce, if not rare, in all grades. The reason for Seated Dollar coinage at San Francisco is not known with certainty. Bowers suggests that the proximity of California to the Orient made the San Francisco Mint an attractive facility to bullion depositors and merchants on the West Coast. Indeed, virtually the entire mintage of 1859-S Seated Dollars is believed to have been exported at the time of issue, melting overseas claiming most of these coins. However, the San Francisco Mint did not produce any more Seated Dollars until 1870, when an unknown, but presumably limited number of coins emerged from the presses. A further 9,000 S-mint coins were delivered in 1872, followed by a mere 700 examples in 1873. It seems likely that Chinese merchants no longer accepted U.S. Silver Dollars on par with their Mexican counterparts, and, by the second year of the Civil War, the United States' export of silver had begun to move away from the Orient and toward Latin America. When the federal government authorized the heavier Trade Dollar in 1873, U.S. merchants could once again compete aggressively on the Oriental market, and the San Francisco Mint became the primary producer of that new denomination.

Few 1859-S Seated Dollars were set aside at the time of production, and those Mint State coins that did survive probably did so purely by chance.

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


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/20/2016

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1859 S S$1 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 550 675 1000 1650 1975 3950 4400 5350 7500 10000 11000 13750 26000 - 140000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 39500 70000 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 144
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65


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Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/5/2003 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1720, 1720/Lot# 1666 $1,540.00
2/20/2005 PCGS XF 45   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1707 $1,495.00
11/7/2011 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2011 November 7-9 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(1), 1161/Lot# 3492 $10,350.00
1/19/2012 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 655, 662/Lot# 7047 $2,599.00
5/30/2012 NGC MS 60   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 3048 $3,450.00
3/23/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/23/2014, 178/Lot# 180232 $1,765.50
10/8/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1210/Lot# 3670 $2,115.00
8/10/2016 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions 2016 August 10 - 14 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Anaheim Session(6), 1238/Lot# 7972 $851.88


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S$1 MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base935966117314382029261427543303360139024731536755636089833812902136061423414884155551667320526
945103512611635222426612937340237014178494354325738683998591313713815144511510815928179570
000000293734023701417849435432573868399859131371381514451151081592800
0000003120350238024455515554985914758811381133711402514667153311630000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 8338
Owner: mr cool
 
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