Trade Dollar

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Trade Dollar

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Overview

Unlike other U.S. coins, the Trade Dollar was produced with the plan of it being circulated in foreign countries. This is the only $1 coin that was ever minted with that intention and the minting of this piece came about in the same legislation that ended the production of the Seated Liberty Dollar.  

  • Obverse: Lady Liberty seated facing left, extending her hand with an olive branch over the sea
  • Reverse: Bald Eagle with outstretched wings
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Years: 1873 – 1878
  • Mints: P, S and CC
  • Designer: William Barber

History

The Coinage Act of 1873 ended the minting of silver coins for the American economy, which effectively ended bimetallism and put America on the Gold Standard. However, the act also approved the minting of a silver dollar to be circulated in Asia. The United States wanted to compete with the Mexican Dollar which was being widely used throughout that continent.

The Trade Dollar was minted at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and Carson City mints from 1873-1878. The only exception to that was there were no Trade Dollars minted in Philadelphia in 1878. There were many critics of ending bimetallism and in 1877, The Coinage Act of 1873 was repealed and therefore ended the production of the Trade Dollar but also gave way to the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 which gave birth to the Morgan Silver Dollar.

The Trade Dollar’s minting was short lived but it has its own important place in history and reminds us about the debate of bimetallism vs the gold standard. Some of the most valuable date and mint mark combinations are the 1873-CC, 1877-CC and the most expensive being the 1878-CC which in a MS66 has sold for $265,000.

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Here at Atlas Gemstones & Rarities we have experience selling Trade Dollars in a variety of dates and mint marks.

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