1859-S Liberty Seated Dollar, Classic San Francisco Mint Rarity

1859-S Liberty Seated Dollar, Classic San Francisco Mint Rarity

5,999.00

An old-time example of this classic American Dollar rarity, in an old PCGS AU-58 certification. There are only four San Francisco Mint Seated Dollar dates to choose from, this one, the very rare 1872-S, the ultra-rare 1870-S and the non-existent 1873-S (Zero known to exist). By those impossible standards, this is relatively 'common'! Only 20,000 struck and fewer than 10% of those left in existence in all likely hood. This is also the only No Motto issue of the Type from this Mint. 3/4 of the entire mintage was struck expressly to be shipped to China for trade, the balance of 5,000 paid out into domestic circulation, resulting in few if any coins being saved in high grade in this country. 17 in the grade at PCGS (Dec. 2018), which is almost certainly high due to resubmissions to try to get a 61 or 62 - not surprising that dealers would try as this would make it a $10,000+ coin. The PCGS Population of Unc coins sits at about 23. This is also likely high, few are above MS-62 and generally without much eye appeal. This particular coin has never been auctioned, apparently residing in the same collection since being graded in all likelihood, sometime in the late 1990's based on the label. I will be honest in my impression that if this coin were to be resubmitted today it would possibly not certify a 58, as the current trend is to coins that are 'bright' at that grade. Ludicrous in the extreme given the age and circumstance of this issue. However, it merits attention due to its attractive color and hints of lightly Prooflike surfaces, not surprising given the small mintage. The primary color is a deep blue with red orange undertones, more visible in the fields around Liberty and the Eagle. Largely free of distracting contact marks, although some very light hairlines are present. There is also the sense of a couple of very light planchet flaws being present, not in terms of roughness, but a difference in color. Not surprising as the source for the Silver used to strike this issue was either Silver bars coming from Mexico, or salvaged non-U. S. fractional coinage. That plus the relatively primitive assay and parting equipment in use in San Francisco meant that planchet streaks were common at this time. These do not however distract too greatly - I mention them for accuracy. Regardless of how you view the assigned grade, given the history of the issue and the abuses heaped upon the series as a whole, few survivors retain this amount of 'pizzaz'. I will leave it to the viewer to decide if that merits my asking price ... as a note, a similarly toned PCGS/CAC specimen sold in August, 2018 at $7,500, well over the PCGS Guide Value (I will note that I thought that coin a bit nicer than the present example).

PCGS 6948.58/2752846

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