NGC-Certified 1857 Seated Dollar, Another Rare Proof in the Silverman Collection

    1857 $1 PR64 NGC. Two die marriages are known for this proof issue. The first, which the Mint used to produce this near-Gem, combines an obverse that displays a rough unfinished area below Liberty's chin (a "beard," if you will) with the reverse used to strike some proof 1856 and 1858 Seated Dollars (described above as part of the proof 1856 description, and identifiable by a thin, curved die line over the ITED in UNITED, etc.). The second die marriage is that which the Mint also used to produce business strike 1857 Seated Dollars, among them the prooflike MS63 NGC specimen in the present collection. The reverse die of the present example is an earlier die state than that noted on the proof 1856 and 1858 coins in this sale, a fact that essentially confirms this specimen as an original from 1857.
    Untoned save for a light overlay of golden-gray iridescence, both sides display reflective fields above which the devices rise with full striking definition. A faint swirl of porosity (as struck) in the obverse field inside and above star 13, as well as a pair of lintmarks (also as produced) between the two lowermost points inside star 12, are offered as pedigree markers. There is also a shallow strike through on the reverse, through the eagle's beak. While more easily obtainable than the 1855, the proof 1857 Seated Dollar is more difficult to locate than the 1856. We do not know exactly how many proof 1857 examples were produced, but NGC and PCGS combined have seen just 40 coins in all grades, a likely estimate for the number of coins available to today's specialists.
    There are apparent errors in Bowers' 1993 encyclopedia under the entries for the proof 1856 and 1857 Seated Dollars. He lists two reverse dies for the proof 1856, one of which (No. 2, not the one used to strike the Silverman 1856) was also used to strike proof 1854 Dollars (die file marks slanting down to the right in the reverse shield). In his description for reverse die No. 1 of the proof 1857 (the die represented by the present example), he states: "From the [reverse] die used in 1854 and 1856 (No. 2)." This is erroneous, since the present coin does not display the slanting die file marks in the reverse field that are evident on the PR64 NGC 1854 specimen in this collection. Also, the pattern of unfinished areas within the reverse shield are different on these two coins. (NGC ID# 252B, PCGS# 7000)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Morris Silverman Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2002
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
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