Thursday, July 10, 2008

Price of Silver Dollars

The price of silver dollars is probably reflected in the fact that past issues of silver dollars are one of the most popular coins for collectors and investors alike.

Silver Dollar coins were first minted after The Coinage Act of 1792 authorizing the production of dollar coins from silver.

The U.S. Mint then produced silver dollar coins from 1794 to 1803 when they ceased regular production of silver dollars until 1836. The first silver dollars, 1,758 of them in fact, were coined on October 15, 1794 and immediately delivered to the then Mint Director David Rittenhouse for distribution to dignitaries as souvenirs. Thereafter, until 1804, they were struck in varying quantities.

Apart from the Indian and Liberty head gold dollar coins, the later dollar coins are not so popular as they do not contain any gold or silver and the silver dollar really ended with the last of the Silver Peace Dollars issued in 1935. Possibly the decreasing value of the dollar played a part in the discontinued use of silver in the dollar coin and the magic of the ‘Silver Dollar” is now a matter of history and for collectors and numismatics.

Silver and Gold Dollar Coins produced by the US Mint include:

Silver dollar coins
Flowing Hair 1794–1795
Draped Bust 1795–1803
Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1795–1798
Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle 1798–1803, 1804 (not a regular issue)
Gobrecht Dollar 1836–1839
Seated Liberty 1840–1873
Seated Liberty, No Motto 1840–1865
Seated Liberty, With Motto 1866–1873
Trade Dollar 1873–1878 (Business & Proofs struck), 1879–1885 (Proof Only)
Morgan Dollar 1878–1904, 1921
Peace Dollar 1921–1935
Peace Dollar (High Relief) 1921
Peace Dollar (Low Relief) 1922–1928, 1934–1935

Gold dollar coins
Liberty Head (Small Size) 1849–1854
Indian Head (Large Size) 1854–1889
Small Indian Head 1854–1856
Large Indian Head 1856–1889

Copper-nickel clad dollar coins
Eisenhower Dollar 1971–1974, 1977–1978
Eisenhower Bicentennial 1975–1976 (all dated 1976)
Susan B. Anthony dollar 1979–1981, 1999

Manganese-Brass dollar coins

Sacagawea Dollar 2000–present
Presidential Dollar Coin Program 2007–present

The 1804 silver dollar warrants mention as one of the rarest and most valuable coins in the world.

It started out as a bookkeeping error as silver dollars reported by the mint as being struck in 1804 were, in fact dated 1803. Due to the fact that the dies used to make coins were very expensive, they were used to destruction and, as a consequence, many coins in the US from 1793 right through to 1825 has examples that were struck in a year different to that which is shown on the coin. No dollars were actually struck in 1804 that bore the 1804 date.

So how come we still have silver dollar coins bearing the date 1804?

Well this coin was actually produced in 1834 when the US Department of State decided to produce a set of US coins covering all the dates to be given to visiting rulers in Asia. Since 1804 was the last recorded mintage for the silver dollar and the 10 dollar eagle it was decided to make new dies to strike 1804 dollars. Very few actually were struck with only 15 currently known to exist. Just as an example of how rare and valuable coins can be, one of these 1804 silver dollars was sold at action not long ago for 4 million dollars.

It is considered that they may be more out there unknown until they surface. So always check every silver dollar you come across. You never know....

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