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    Description

    1851 Seated Dollar, MS64
    Exceptional Original Business Strike
    Significant Series Rarity

    1851 $1 MS64 NGC. Ex: Sweet Collection. By 1851, the rising price of silver in relation to gold caused the melt value of the silver dollar to reach $1.03, thereby making it profitable for bullion dealers and speculators to hoard and melt the coins in quantity. This and excessive exports of silver are largely responsible for the scarcity of many Seated dollar issues from this period. Only a small run of 1,300 business strike Seated dollars was coined in 1851, likely for either depositors or on the account of the government. Very few if any of these were released into general circulation at the time of striking, but were possibly paid out in return for bullion deposits in the years immediately following, per Bowers.

    When numismatic interest in United States coins began increasing in the late 1850s, the 1851 silver dollar's scarcity was immediately recognized. Collectors began searching for examples of this elusive date, but only small numbers were found, with very few uncovered in general circulation. Much of the original mintage was apparently already lost, and the numismatic value of this issue began increasing. The Mint saw a chance for profit, and made a small number of restrikes in proof format for sale to collectors seeking the 1851 date. These proved to be collectible rarities in their own right, but as early as 1864, collectors were already making a distinction between the proof restrikes and the rare original business strikes. In October of that year, a "splendid original" 1851 Seated dollar brought an impressive $35 in the sale of the W. Elliot Woodward Collection. The proof restrikes did not rise to that value until the early 1870s, when several examples sold for the $22 to $40 range.

    Today, the original 1851 dollars are some of the rarest business strikes in the series, and draw strong bidder attention whenever they are offered at auction. PCGS and NGC combined list 60 survivors in all grades, though this number likely includes resubmissions. NGC has seen only two coins grading as high as MS64, and just one Gem coin finer (11/14). The present piece is a truly remarkable example, showing deep mint-gold, aquamarine, and lavender hues on the obverse, with lightly mottled champagne and golden-gray toning on the reverse. The fields are noticeably semiprooflike, as is characteristic of nearly all examples of this low-mintage issue. The design elements show sharp definition in most areas, though Liberty's head and a few stars a slightly soft. A well-masked grease streak (as struck) is noted in the lower reverse shield. A beautiful condition census example of this key Philadelphia rarity.
    Ex: Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1048.

    From The Sweet Bloomfield Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24YP, PCGS# 6939)

    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 Sweet Bloomfield Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,050

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