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: $13.09 (12/13/2019)
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: 12/10/2019 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
1/31/1996 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 0811, 811/Lot# 673 $2,193.50
2/20/2005 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1760 $4,600.00
2/28/2012 PCGS XF 40   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 8088 $1,552.50
1/9/2013 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1181/Lot# 4577 $1,598.00
7/7/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/07/2013, 82/Lot# 121914 $1,085.21
6/3/2014 PCGS   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4135 $317.25
7/9/2015 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(2), 1222/Lot# 4106 $1,645.00
10/29/2015 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 29 - November 1 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1225/Lot# 3385 $7,050.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1872 S $1 MS
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