Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 46,500
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.25 (11/23/2017)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
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1865 S$1 MS obverse 1865 S$1 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The Civil War was not only a human disaster of unparalleled proportions in the history of the United States to that time, it was a numismatic disaster as well. As in other times of uncertainty throughout our nation's history, people turned to hoarding currency for worse times that were anticipated to come. By 'currency' we mean gold and silver, which began disappearing from circulation in December 1861, when New York banks suspended so-called 'specie payments,' or payouts in silver coin for gold or paper currency. By the summer of 1862 all regular-issue U.S. coinage (and any precious-metal foreign coins as well) had disappeared from circulated, even Indian cents. Merchants turned to the production of patriotic Civil War tokens and 'store cards' to try to conduct business, to which hated paper currency and scrip provided a meager supplement.

Silver coin production at the Mint declined drastically during the war years, and whatever silver coin was produced was promptly either tucked away or exported. Bowers' Silver Dollar Encyclopedia maintains that most of the 1865 Seated dollar issue was exported to Central and South America.

Regardless of the precise disposition of the coins nearly 150 years ago, today there is incontrovertible evidence that the issue is quite rare in Mint State grades. Both NGC and PCGS have each certified a couple of dozen Uncirculated pieces, but nearly all of them are MS64 or below.

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.

1865 S$1 MS
Base $ 550 600 750 1000 1900 2475 2850 3400 4100 4600 5000 6250 8750 17500 77500 - - - - -
$ - - - - 4250 - - - 10500 30000 - - - -

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Total Graded: 78
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/16/2000 PCGS G 6   Teletrade Auction 1296, 1296/Lot# 1785 $174.40
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 60   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1724 $3,680.00
8/15/2011 NGC VF 20   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 3071 $402.50
12/8/2011 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2011 December 8-11 US Coins Signature Auction- New York Session(1), 1162/Lot# 3732 $1,503.05
2/7/2013 PCGS VF 25   Heritage Auctions 2013 February 7 -8 & 10 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(5), 1182/Lot# 8091 $940.00
4/14/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/14/2013, 70/Lot# 109366 $1,292.50
12/28/2014 PCGS VF 30   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 836, 845/Lot# 482 $1,250.00
1/6/2016 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(2), 1231/Lot# 4360 $1,997.50
6/8/2017 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2017 June 8 - 11 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1256/Lot# 4233 $2,937.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1865 S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery

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