Elusive Proof-Only 1858 Seated Dollar, PR631858 $1 PR63 NGC. The 1858 Seated Liberty dollar is a famous proof-only issue in the series. The exact proof mintage is unknown: The Chapman brothers in the late 19th century were purveyors of a figure of only 80 coins. More-modern estimates have ranged from around 200 to as high as nearly 500. (The current Guide Book estimate is given as "300+"). Bowers believes that the initial 1858 issue was followed by restrikes in 1859-60, with more possibly made as late as 1876.
Two proof die combinations were used for the issue, both sharing a common obverse showing the date with prominent figures, and different reverses known as the Reverse of 1857 and Reverse of 1859, respectively. The ANS Reverse of 1857 specimen shows die rust on the L of DOL. and beneath, near the rim. This piece also shows reverse die rust, but no other 1857 reverse-die characteristics.
This is a brilliant example that has light hairlines on each side, which account for the PR63 grade, but the piece is fully detailed throughout, as one would expect from a proof striking. It must be stressed that despite the Select grade, this is an extremely rare and highly underrated coin. An edifying comparison with the proof-only 1895 Morgan dollar is in order: NGC has certified only 68 proof examples of the 1858 Seated dollar in all grades, while it has certified upward of 300 proof 1895s. Morgan dollar specialists who are looking to branch out may have much to ponder here ... .
From The Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 252C, PCGS# 7001)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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