Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 255,700
Catalog: KM-71
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.73g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.59 (10/23/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1859 S$1 MS obverse 1859 S$1 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

There is controversy among numismatists of the intended use and fate of the 1859 and 1860 Trade dollars. David Bowers and John Willem contend that all of the '59 and '60 silver dollars from the mints involved in their production were made primarily for export to China, where they were melted down and converted into bullion. Robert Julian, however, argues that the heavy coinage of silver dollars in 1859-1860 was more related to the heavy imbalance of silver imports and exports, and to the increased mining of silver beginning in 1859. He states: 'If there had been a real demand for the American silver dollar, there would have been no need for the Spanish or Mexican coin to be sent to the Far East. The minuscule coinage at San Francisco in 1859 (20,000 pieces) (when there were ample supplies of silver to be had...from the Comstock...or California) is a telling point against silver dollars being sent in quantity to the Orient.'

Whatever the case, examples of the high-mintage 1859 dollar (255,700 business strikes) are scarce today in all grades, especially in the better grades of Mint State.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/20/2016

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

1859 S$1 MS
Base $ 375 425 485 580 750 1400 1550 1850 2350 2950 3450 4600 7100 14000 80000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 23000 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 79
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 64

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1701 $4,485.00
6/29/2005 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2005 June New York, NY Signature Auction #380, 380/Lot# 6236 $4,197.50
7/27/2013 PCGS XF 45   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 2408 $998.75
9/9/2013 NGC AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3447, 3447/Lot# 1737 $725.00
1/8/2014 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1201/Lot# 4904 $9,400.00
3/2/2014 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/02/2014, 182/Lot# 173643 $907.50
3/9/2014 NGC MS 86   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 794, 803/Lot# 733 $325.00
2/26/2015 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 February 26 - March 1 PNG Dallas Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(3), 1218/Lot# 3918 $1,880.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2549
Grade: AU 55
Points: 2368
Owner: G & R coins
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