Coin Specifications

Category: Trade Dollars (1873-1885)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,162,000
Catalog: KM-108
Obverse Designer: William Barber
Reverse Designer: William Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 27.22g
ASW: 0.7876oz
Melt Value: $13.84 (10/22/2016)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1878 S T$1 MS obverse 1878 S T$1 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The 1878-S Trade dollar issue marks an important nexus in the history of U.S. silver dollar production. The Trade dollars were on their last legs. The 1878 Carson City and San Francisco Trade dollars would prove to be the last circulation issues, the 1879-1883 were proof-only issues, and the famous 1884 and 1885 proofs were produced under suspicious circumstances not relevant here. In 1878 the Morgan dollars were seeing their initial year of production at those same mints.

The 1876-S through 1878-S Trade dollars were produced in quantities of 5.2 million, 9.5 million (a series record), and 4.2 million coins, respectively--enormous figures for any coin of the era. The 1878-S Morgan dollar took up the reins from the fading series, issued to the extent of 9.8 million pieces.

It is no coincidence that those enormous silver dollar production figures coincide with the peak years of Nevada's fabled Comstock Lode, which from 1876 through 1878 is estimated to have produced silver bullion worth about $36 million each year. The mine's bullion production would slowly dwindle until about 1892, when the 'bottom of the barrel' began to be scraped.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/4/2016

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

1878 S T$1 MS
Base $ 125 150 175 215 320 400 450 530 715 1125 1250 1500 2400 3650 14250 28500 67500 - - -
$ - - 460 560 750 - - - 2700 4250 16000 34500 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 1117
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/25/2004 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 2581 $833.75
6/24/2007 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 2385, 2385/Lot# 2396 $336.00
5/3/2010 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The May 2010 Online Auction, 54/Lot# 557 $150.65
10/14/2012 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/14/2012, 44/Lot# 77668 $231.00
9/28/2014 PCGS XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 823, 832/Lot# 701 $275.00
10/8/2014 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(5), 1210/Lot# 8215 $258.50
11/9/2014 NGC XF 40   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131446/Lot# 25390 $182.13
11/16/2014 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131447/Lot# 27233 $188.00
12/7/2014 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131450/Lot# 26086 $105.75

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 S T$1 MS
1878 S T$1 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2705
Owner: JTO
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1953
Owner: Carl Beeson
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