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SILVER DOLLARS

1850 Seated Silver Dollar

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1850 Seated S$1
NGC PF61
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1850 Seated Dollar $1 NGC PF 61. This is a scarce to rare 1850 seated dollar with deep original toning. Well struck. Interesting coloration that changes slightly when the coin is tilted to catch the light. Rarely seen.

All pre-1858 Proof coins are rare and historic pieces which seldom appear on the market in any condition. They were struck in a period when there were only a very limited number of coin collectors in the United States. Those that did have the funds to collect coins usually bought Proof coins directly from the Mint, but it was not until the end of the 1850s that the Mint started regular sales of Proof coins and recorded their mintages. For the coins that were struck prior to that there are usually no mintages known, but from the number of surviving coins for the majority of issues we can learn the mintages must have been miniscule. With an estimated 15 to 18 Proofs known of the 1850 Silver Dollar, an estimated mintage of just 25 pieces would appear to be close to correct. The former number includes a small number of restrikes, most likely struck in the early 1870s when the hobby of coin collecting had grown to a favorite pastime for many Americans.

According to Walter Breen (Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977), the restrikes are identified by an Open 5 in the date, with a die crack running through the bases of the numerals, and a very lightly repunched. These restrikes were struck from the same dies that struck the originals, which were struck from a total of two die pairs. The present example is an original, struck from the same dies that would later strike the restrikes (Breen-3). Repunching of the 0 is visible on the lower part of that numeral, but the die crack described by Breen is absent. Both the obverse and reverse dies are in pristine condition, further confirming the status of this coin as an original, struck in 1850. Any coin with an estimated mintage of just 25 pieces is usually considered to be a major rarity, causing a stir everytime an example appears on the market. Yet, we are able to offer you this piece for a relative modest price.

Collecting pre-1858 Proof coins of any denomination is extremely difficult, as offerings of most of these issues are rare. Because of this, demand for these pieces is relatively low, as most collectors will collect business strikes. This is a situation very different from the time this coin was struck, as business strikes and mintmarked issues were usually ignored by contemporary collectors of the day. Yet, even the 1850 Silver Dollar that was produced for circulation is a very scarce issue, with a reported mintage of just 7,500 pieces.

Upon examination, this Proof coin has excellent eye-appeal and original, light rose-to orange toning. Some hairlines are visible in the fields, which limit the grade, but these are not overly distracting. No contact marks are noted on either side, which are both very sharply impressed. The coin has a very interesting color pattern, which changes when the color is toned in light. Seldom offered and an important opportunity for the specialist of Proof seated coinage.

 

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