Liberty Seated Dollars, 1840-1873

Liberty Seated Dollars, 1840-1873

When silver dollar production was resumed in 1840, Christian Gobrecht’s familiar Seated Liberty was adopted for the obverse. Altogether, a total of 6,590,721 these dollars were coined at the Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City and San Francisco Mints between 1840 and 1873. To give the collector an idea of the relative scarcity of the Seated Liberty dollars, there are 40 individual Morgan Dollar dates whose mintages exceed the total production of Seated Liberty dollars. Like earlier silver dollars, many Seated Liberty Dollars were exported and melted for their bullion value. The series was discontinued in 1873, due mainly to decreasing silver prices and a lack of demand for such a large silver coin. There are two major Varieties. They include:

  • 1840-1865 Liberty Seated, No Motto Type
  • 1866-1873 Liberty Seated, With Motto Type

The established rarities of the series are the Original issues of 1851 and 1852, 1858 and 1870-S issues. Slightly more than 1,000 dollars were coined in 1851 and 1852. Due to collector demand, these dates were later restruck at the Mint. In 1858, an estimated 80 proofs were struck, and no coins were issued for circulation. The mintage of the 1870-S is unknown and apparently less than a dozen specimens are known to exist. There are only two known examples of the Proof 1866 No Motto Dollar, also known as the fantasy coin. Only one issue, the 1873-S, is considered uncollectible. While 700 coins of this date were officially recorded as being struck, the 1873-S is unknown in any collection today.

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