Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 77,500
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.70 (10/21/2019)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1861 $1 MS obverse 1861 $1 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The 1861 Seated Liberty dollar claims a nominal mintage of 77,500 pieces, but the date is quite challenging for present-day collectors. The 1861 was the first issue of the Civil War era, and distribution patterns changed radically during that period. Until 1861, most silver dollars were used in the China trade, and significant numbers of 1861 dollars undoubtedly found their way to the Orient, as well. However, it seems that most dollars of this date remained in this country, to be melted for bullion used to strike subsidiary coinage. R.W. Julian reports:

'There was very heavy melting of dollars in 1861 for use as bullion in the manufacture of subsidiary silver. In one case there were 40,000 silver dollars melted at Philadelphia. I suspect that a careful investigation of archival material would turn up meltings well in excess of that.'

Whatever the fate of the majority of the 1861 mintage, it is certain that examples in Gem condition are very rare today.

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: 6/20/2019

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

1861 $1 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1100 1500 2000 2875 3750 3850 4050 4375 4750 5000 5300 6250 7200 11500 50000 120000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 16000 65000 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 77
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 65

The chart showing F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1861 $1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---43133379-51010163-----77
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total---43133379-51010163-----77
 ---5 %4 %1 %4 %4 %4 %9 %12 %-6 %13 %13 %21 %4 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/11/2008 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 282, 288/Lot# 5876 $8,337.50
2/1/2009 NGC MS 64   Goldberg February 1-4, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 51/Lot# 1121 $8,050.00
10/30/2011 PCGS F 12   Teletrade Auction 3163, 3163/Lot# 2432 $1,100.00
2/27/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(1), 1203/Lot# 3633 $1,527.50
3/23/2014 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/23/2014, 178/Lot# 127512 $2,475.00
8/5/2014 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1208/Lot# 4654 $3,818.75
4/22/2015 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1219/Lot# 4835 $2,585.00
11/6/2015 PCGS MS 63   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 22318 $6,756.25
9/5/2019 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions 2019 September 5 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1299/Lot# 4787 $2,040.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 $1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1294133316091949219729603103314932813386358337303852406445915563101051293713543141691521318820
130714251722203224513008311831933316345236323771392342404915707711049131391375214517164150
00000031183193331634523632377139234240491570771104913139137521451700
00000031343237335135173681381139934415523985911199313341139601486500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 4591
Owner: Tweed Collection
 
Grade: VF 20
Points: 2197
Owner: 123cents
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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