The first-year 1873 is a low mintage issue with just 396,635 business strikes produced. Unlike many other first-year issues in U.S. numismatic history, the 1873 does not appear to have been widely saved at the time of production. Rather, most coins were shipped to the Orient, where they were undoubtedly worn out and/or melted. Today, a Mint State 1873 Trade Dollar must be considered a rarity, especially if it approaches the Gem threshold.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.