Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 9,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $13.63 (10/21/2019)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
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1872 S $1 MS obverse 1872 S $1 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The 1872-S is the only readily collectible Seated Dollar with Motto from the San Francisco Mint. The 1870-S, with an unknown mintage and only 10 coins extant, is unobtainable for all but the most wealthy numismatists, and the 1873-S has not been reported in any collection, all 700 coins produced presumably having been melted. Mint State 1872-S Seated Dollars are condition rarities in their own right, a fact explained by the circumstances surrounding the distribution of this issue.

After producing virtually no Silver Dollars since 1859, the San Francisco Mint became active once again in 1872 with the delivery of 9,000 coins. Examples seem to have suffered each of the three fates that were most active in claiming Seated Dollars: exportation, melting, and circulation. A certain number of coins were undoubtedly exported to the Orient in the year before Trade Dollar production commenced, the proximity of San Francisco to the Far East makes this a very tempting conclusion. It is also likely that a limited number of examples were placed into domestic circulation, for enough worn coins have survived to satisfy demand from less discerning date collectors. Those coins that did not leave the Mint for one of these two reasons were probably melted after the Mint Act of February 12, 1873 abolished the Silver Dollar. With such odds against it, coupled with the lack of a collecting community in the 1870s that appreciated branch mint issues, it is little wonder that any Mint State 1872-S Dollars have survived.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/21/2019

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1872 S $1 MS
Base $ 600 900 1300 1450 2000 3250 4300 6500 8500 14750 15500 22000 27000 90000 - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 121
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 64

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, 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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1872 S $1 MS
 1 %1 %5 %7 %16 %7 %22 %6 %7 %12 %8 %-2 %3 %3 %2 %------ 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/26/2002 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2002 September Long Beach Signature Sale #300, 300/Lot# 7214 $2,300.00
2/20/2005 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1760 $4,600.00
7/20/2008 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 2559, 2559/Lot# 2123 $4,025.00
2/28/2012 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 8087 $2,472.50
7/11/2013 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2013 July 11 - 14 US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1187/Lot# 5091 $3,290.00
8/8/2013 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont Session(2), 1188/Lot# 4248 $3,055.00
3/16/2014 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/16/2014, 172/Lot# 178721 $2,997.50
3/20/2014 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 20 The Collection of Donald E. Bently - Bently Foundation US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1205/Lot# 30118 $4,993.75
9/7/2016 NGC F 15   Heritage Auctions 2016 September 7 - 11 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1239/Lot# 4347 $940.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1872 $1 MS S
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