Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 77,500
Catalog: KM-71
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.73g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.70 (10/26/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1861 S$1 MS obverse 1861 S$1 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/20/2016

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

1861 S$1 MS
Base $ 675 950 1375 1800 3150 3500 3950 4100 4450 4700 5200 6250 7500 11500 57500 120000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 16000 65000 - - -

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Total Graded: 75
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1713 $6,325.00
8/6/2009 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 399, 405/Lot# 7066 $4,831.15
8/15/2011 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 3065 $1,610.00
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
10/8/2014 NGC VF 20   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1210/Lot# 3673 $1,410.00
11/6/2014 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 November 6 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Session(2), 1211/Lot# 3802 $8,225.00
5/12/2015 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 May 12 The Eugene H. Gardner Collection III US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1228/Lot# 98567 $50,525.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1861 S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 4591
Owner: Tweed Collection
Grade: VF 20
Points: 2197
Owner: Carl Beeson
View the Registry Image Gallery

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