Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Dollars
1852 $1 PF

Description & Analysis

The 1852 proof silver dollar is an issue that has prompted a great deal of study with respect to which are originals and which are later restrikes. Osburn and Cushing estimate that five or fewer of the former were produced, with about 65 restrikes having been minted. They identify their die marriage OC-P1 as the only one to have been used for proofs struck during 1852, as it features the proof reverse die used for all dates but two during the period 1840-54. This is a reasonable conclusion, though with just three examples of this marriage confirmed there has been a lot of confusion and mislabeling between originals and restrikes. For that reason NGC discontinued making this distinction some years ago.

Of the coins believed to be restrikes, perhaps 40 or so are known today. These feature the same obverse die as the OC-P1 marriage, but with two different reverses found on proofs dated 1856-58 and 1859, respectively. A fourth die marriage was reported in the Bowers 1993 reference book but was not confirmed by Osburn and Cushing.

Gems of this issue are very rare, though most 1852 proof silver dollars will display some degree of Cameo contrast, albeit hidden under toning in some instances.