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LIBERTY SEATED DOLLARS (1836-1873)
LIBERTY SEATED DOLLARS - GOBRECHT TYPE (1836-1839)

In 1835 Mint Director Robert M. Patterson ordered Engraver Christian Gobrecht to begin to prepare dies for the dollar. Patterson wanted Gobrecht to use designs by artists Thomas Sully and Titian Peale. The first die was dated 1836. It used the Seated Liberty motif and had the inscription C. GOBRECHT F. in the field above the date. The F. was for the Latin word Fecit meaning “made it.” The reverse had a large flying eagle that was surrounded by 26 stars and the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA . ONE DOLLAR. We do not know when the coins from these dies were struck. Gobrecht prepared a new die with his name this time on the base of Liberty.

In December 1836, 1000 of these coins were struck for circulation. These coins weighed 26.96 grams, the same weight as the previous issue. The next year the weight requirement was lowered to 26.73 grams, which remained in effect until the Peace dollar was discontinued in 1935. The dies were then used to strike more coins dated 1836. The new dollars that were produced had a medal alignment to distinguish them from the earlier issue. In all three years of issue, dollars are found with different die alignments. During the period from the late 1850’s to the 1870’s, the Mint struck Gobrecht dollars for VIPs and collectors. Both restrikes and mules were made at this later time and are very rare today.

DATE NOTES
1836 Silver Dollar
Originals and later Restrikes are known of the Proofs.
1838 Silver Dollar Originals and later Restrikes are known.
1839 Silver Dollar Originals and later Restrikes are known. Many of the Proofs were released into circulation.

SEATED LIBERTY SILVER DOLLARS NO REVERSE MOTTO (1840-1865)

From 1840 to 1873, the Seated Liberty dollar was minted every year. The obverse used a design that was modified from Gobrecht’s Seated dollar. The reverse used the perched eagle design that was found on quarter and half dollars of the time. Though minted in small numbers, the dollar circulated for about a decade. In 1850, the rising price of silver made the cost of minting each coin more than a dollar. Production continued until 1873 for the international market. From 1873 to 1885 the larger Trade dollar was used for the export trade. Although the weight and composition of the Seated Liberty dollar remained unchanged, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse in 1866 in response to political and social pressure.

DATE NOTES
1840 Silver Dollar There are 3 minor positional varieties of the date on circulation strikes.
1841 Silver Dollar Normal stars on circulation strikes; Small stars on proofs only.
1842 Silver Dollar There are 3 minor positional varieties of the date on circulation strikes.
1843 Silver Dollar Circulation strikes have a heavy date or thin numerals in the date.
1844 Silver Dollar Circulation strikes have quadruple obverse stripes; double obverse die with reverse “armpit” variety as a result of die file marks between wings and body; triple obverse stripes on proof only – very rare.
1845 Silver Dollar Normal date; heavily repunched 84, proof only – very rare.
1846 Silver Dollar Normal date; blundered date, proofs only – very rare (called overdate by some).
1846-O Silver Dollar The O mintmark normal; heavy; thin.
1847 Silver Dollar There are 6 minor positional varieties of the date on circulation strikes.
1848 Silver Dollar Die chip on drapery caused “Badge variety,” proof only – very rare.
1849 Silver Dollar Early strike has “extra hair” below chin which are die file marks. Not found on proofs.
1850 Silver Dollar Closed 5, knob joins cusp; open 5, circulation strikes and proofs.
1850-O Silver Dollar Closed 5 – very scarce.
1851 Silver Dollar Originals and later Restrikes are known of the Proofs.
1851-O Silver Dollar Unique!
1852 Silver Dollar Originals and later Restrikes are known of the Proofs.
1853 Silver Dollar Restrike proofs: 12 in sliver, 3 in copper were made late 1862 or early 1863.
1854 Silver Dollar 54 apart; base of 4 is repunched. Proof only-spur from base above 5.
1855 Silver Dollar One die pair for business strikes; 2nd obverse used for proofs.
1856 Silver Dollar Normal date, slanting 5; 1856/4 overdate – extremely rare.
1857 Silver Dollar Two die pairs for business strikes, usually weak at Liberty’s head.
1858 Silver Dollar Rare, Proof-only date.
1859 Silver Dollar Many coins of this date were melted.
1859-O Silver Dollar Thin numerals; Normal date, heavy mintmark; Heavy date, thin mintmark.
1859-S Silver Dollar Normal date, medium S; Repunched 18 – extremely rare.
1860 Silver Dollar 1.330 proofs made, but only 527 were sold. The rest melted.
1860-O Silver Dollar Heavy numerals; Very thin numerals, heavy mintmark; Very thin numerals and mintmark.
1861 Silver Dollar 600 of the 1,000 proofs were unsold and melted.
1862 Silver Dollar Rare in all grades, especially in Mint State;120 of the 550 proofs were unsold and melted. The other 430 were sold in sets. Most circulation strikes were exported.
1863 Silver Dollar Rare in all grades, especially in Mint State.
1864 Silver Dollar Rare in all grades, especially in Mint State.
1865 Silver Dollar Rare in all grades, especially in Mint State.

SEATED LIBERTY SILVER DOLLARS - WITH REVERSE MOTTO (1866-1873)

DATE NOTES
1866 Silver Dollar Circulation strikes – rare. Look for low date.
1867 Silver Dollar Normal date – rare; 1867/1867 Large date over smaller date – very rare.
1868 Silver Dollar Circulation strikes, date heavy on one die – rare; Proof only double date – very rare.
1869 Silver Dollar Base of 1 sometimes repunched.
1870 Silver Dollar Normal reverse die; doubled reverse die.
1870-S Silver Dollar Extremely rare! Listed in the 100 Greatest Coins; may have been struck as mementos for cornerstone of San Francisco Mint.
1870-CC Silver Dollar Mintmark closely spaced – rare; widely spaced – scarce.
1871 Silver Dollar 71 almost touch; 71 apart – scarce.
1871-CC Silver Dollar 71 almost touch – very rare; wide CC; doubled die reverse.
1872 Silver Dollar Normal date; blundered obverse, part of extra 1 in rock below shield – very rare.
1872-S Silver Dollar Prohibitively rare in Gem condition.
1872-CC Silver Dollar Widely spaced mintmark.
1873 Silver Dollar Closed 3; closed 3 with widely spaced mintmark – very rare.
1873-S Silver Dollar Unknown, despite a Mint Reports showing 700 coins as having been struck. None have ever been seen!
1873-CC Silver Dollar Widely spaced mintmark – very rare.


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