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1873 Seated Liberty Dollar, MS65
Scarce Heavily Melted Issue
Final Year of Design

1873 $1 MS65 PCGS. The year 1873 saw many dramatic changes in the coinage system of the United States. In January, Chief Coiner A. Louden Snowden wrote a letter to Mint Director James Pollock complaining that the Close 3 used in the date on U.S. coins looked too much like an 8, and this numeral was replaced by the Open 3 on coins struck later in the year. More importantly, the Mint Act of February 12, 1873 abolished several denominations, including the two cent piece, silver three cent piece, half dime, and the silver dollar. The act provided for the coinage of the slightly heavier Trade dollar to fill the role of the silver dollar in foreign trade. The weight of the other silver coins was also increased slightly, with arrows placed at the date to signify the change. By the time the act took effect on April 1, the Philadelphia Mint had produced 293,000 business-strike Seated Liberty dollars, all with the old Close 3 in the date. Many of these coins were melted, to provide bullion for the initial mintage of Trade dollars, making the issue much more elusive than the mintage figures suggest.

The 1873 Seated Liberty dollar is scarce in circulated grades, rare in Mint State, and very rare in MS65 condition. Finer examples are extremely rare. PCGS has graded five coins at the MS65 level, with one example in MS65+ and two in MS66, while NGC has certified four Gems and two specimens in MS66 (5/14). The record price realized for the issue is $82,250 for the spectacular MS66 PCGS-graded example in lot 186 of the Regency VI Sale (Legend-Morphy, 2/2014).

The present coin is a delightful Gem, with well-preserved brilliant surfaces that display vibrant satiny mint luster throughout. The design elements are well-detailed, with just a touch of softness on Liberty's head and some stars. Eye appeal is terrific. This coin will be a welcome addition to a fine collection or Registry Set.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZM, PCGS# 6971)

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Auction Dates
July, 2014
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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