1852 $1 MS62 NGC....
Rare 1852 Silver Dollar MS621852 $1 MS62 NGC. Aside from the proof-only 1858, the 1852 has the lowest mintage of any Philadelphia Mint Seated dollar. The mintage was just 1,100 pieces, less than any of the four rare Carson City issues. Only the non-existent 1873-S has a lower recorded business strike mintage. The 1870-S mintage was undoubtedly less than that of the 1852, but that mintage went unrecorded.
The California gold rush was the reason for the uncommonly low 1852 mintage. Significant production from gold camps near San Francisco reduced the value of gold, relative to silver. But the government ratio of silver to gold was fixed. The result was that gold coins circulated, since their bullion content was undervalued relative to face. Silver coins were hoarded, and melted by speculators, since their face value was less than their intrinsic value.
Production of silver coins by the Mint depended upon private deposits of bullion. But it was undesirable to deposit bullion at the Mint, and receive coins of lesser face value than what depositors could instead obtain with the raw bullion from an assayer. As a result, mintages of silver dollars fell dramatically between 1849 and 1852. Mint production of the era was instead focused on the gold dollar. Between 1851 and 1853, approximately 10 million gold dollars were struck.
In 1852, there were few numismatists in the United States. The handful of collectors of the day pursued early products of the Mint, instead of contemporary issues. It is unsurprising that most surviving 1852 Seated dollars are in XF to AU grades. They circulated briefly, then were set aside because their value exceeded face. Only a single piece has been certified as high as MS65.
The present example is brilliant and lacks highpoint wear. The strike is bold aside from Liberty's hair and stars 8 and 9. Marks are limited to minor contact on the right obverse field and a concealed abrasion at the base of Liberty's shield. A hint of granularity is noted above the eagle's beak. The eye appeal is pleasing for the MS62 level. An important opportunity for the advanced Seated specialist. Census: 8 in 62, 1 finer (2/08).
From The Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24YR, PCGS# 6940)
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