Exceedingly Rare, Choice Proof 1840 Seated Liberty Dollar1840 $1 PR64 PCGS. Struck from a previously unrecorded reverse die, with the following diagnostics:
1. The first crossbar in the shield extends into the eagle's left (facing) wing.
2. The final element of stripe 2, and the first and third elements of stripe 3 penetrate the innermost shield border.
3. The final two elements of stripe 1 penetrate solidly to crossbar 5.
4. The first element of stripe 2 penetrates to crossbar 2.
Breen (1977, 1988) describes two reverse dies for this issue: B-1, which Bowers (1993) does not credit, and B-2, with the following diagnostics:
1. Two defects, joined, appear as projections on the right side of the final A in AMERICA.
2. Each of the three elements in the vertical shield stripes extend into the crossbars with the sole exception of the final element in stripe 4.
3. The final element of stripe 1 extends to crossbar 3.
Breen suggests that both originals and restrikes were made from this reverse die, which the Mint also used to produce most proof Seated Dollars dated 1841-1850, and at least one example of the proof 1852 (the ANS specimen).
As we have previously handled two different proof 1840 Dollars struck from two distinct reverse dies, we do not know whether they are originals produced in 1840, or restrikes of a later date. A closer examination of other proof 1840 Seated Dollars, as well as other proof Silver Dollars of the 1840s-1850s is required before we can make a definite determination.
This coin is struck from dies that show die rust throughout the reverse field. The absence of this feature in the field of the PR61 coin suggests that this near-Gem was struck at a later date. This is a richly toned example with olive and lavender-gray color over mottled electric-blue and orange-gold undertones. The reflective qualities are evident at a few angles, the crisply impressed devices are fully appreciable. Identifiable by an obverse lintmark that connects the two denticles below the 8 in the date.
It has been suggested that the original mintage (61,005 pieces) of the 1840 Seated Dollar accounts for 61,000 business strikes and five proofs. Judging by current NGC and PCGS population data, however, it seems likely that the Mint produced more than five proof Silver Dollars in this, the first year of the type. The exact number of coins delivered is not known with certainty, but it seems probable, despite what Bowers says in his 1993 encyclopedia, that some of the examples extant are restrikes. Nevertheless, it is probable that no more than 20 proof Seated Dollars dated 1840 were produced. Some of the 34 coins known to NGC and PCGS (7/04) are highly likely resubmissions. (#6981) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZP, PCGS# 6981)
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