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Description

Restrike Proof 1852 Silver Dollar, A Significant Rarity in the Seated Liberty Series

1852 $1 Restrike PR64 PCGS. Much like the restrike 1851 Seated Dollar, the restrike 1852 was produced solely for the benefit of collectors. Most, if not all of these coins were produced circa 1858-1860 from the same obverse die that the Mint used to strike the originals. There is a considerable amount of confusion regarding the status of originals and restrikes, and Bowers' 1993 Silver Dollar encyclopedia is riddled with inconsistencies and speculation. For example, the author lists three reverse dies for originals and a further three reverse dies for restrikes--a rather high total for a proof issue with so few coins extant. He does admit, however, that the likelihood of there being six different reverse dies for proofs of this date is virtually nonexistent.
We do know this about the Silverman specimen of the restrike 1852 Seated Dollar: it was struck from the same reverse die that the Mint used to produce one of the proof 1854 examples (PR63 PCGS) and the proof 1859 specimen in this collection (see below for more information about these issues, as well as the diagnostics of this reverse die). We also know that a document was found in the National Archives written by Mint Director Henry Linderman on May 18, 1867. In this letter, Linderman claims to have opened a box of dies that his predecessor Colonel James Ross Snowden sealed on July 30, 1860. Among others, this box contained the obverse die for the proof 1852 Seated Dollar. If the aforementioned proof 1854 is a restrike from 1859-60, then the Silverman proof 1852 Dollar was struck sometime between January 1, 1859 and July 30, 1860. If the proof 1854 is an original, then the 1852 was produced between that year and July 30, 1860. Clearly, we would like to positively attribute more proof Seated Dollars from this decade in order to determine when and under what circumstances these coins were produced.
To date (1/02), NGC and PCGS have certified just one original proof 1852 Seated Dollar and 18 restrikes. Only six coins are graded finer than PR64, and all of these are at the PR65 level. This is a pleasing near-Gem with an even endowment of medium dove-gray patina over faint lilac and gold undertones. The finish is essentially reflective, although some modest frost is seen over the central features, particularly on the reverse. There are few noticeable blemishes, but a small dark spot in the obverse field before Liberty's shin is noted for accuracy. A tiny planchet void (as struck) before the bridge of Liberty's nose is also useful for pedigree purposes. Certainly a highlight of the Silverman Collection, and an important representative of an issue that requires more careful study. (NGC ID# 2525, PCGS# 6995)

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Auction Dates
April, 2002
25th-27th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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