First struck by the United States Mint in 1840, the Liberty Silver Dollar was designed by former chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht. These coins were the second ever type of dollars to be made in America, and the last to be minted prior to the Coinage Act of 1873, which temporarily put an end to the production of Silver Dollars. Not only has the series continued to grow in popularity over the past few decades but it has also enjoyed an increase in value with every year that passes.
On the obverse of the Liberty Seated Dollar is the female figure of Lady Liberty seated on a rock. She is wearing a Phrygian cap on her head and holding a pole in her left hand. Her right hand is resting on a shield that displays the inscription LIBERTY. There are thirteen stars around her, with the mintage date stamped below.
The reverse depicts a left-facing bald eagle with an olive branch and arrows in his talons. He is accompanied by three text engravings including UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above and ONE DOL. below. The third inscription is shown on a scroll above the eagle’s head and reads IN GOD WE TRUST.
The Liberty Silver Dollar series lasted for more than 30 years and ended when the last coins were released in 1873.
When production commenced in 1840, all Liberty Seated Dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Only 41,000 coins were minted in November and 7,505 in December during the first year of production. In 1841, 173,000 pieces were made, and all Liberty Silver Dollars continued to be struck only at the Philadelphia Mint until 1846 when the New Orleans Mint produced 59,000 specimens.
By the 1850s, a large number of gold coins started to appear as a result of the discovery of gold in California. This caused gold prices to decrease and silver prices to dramatically increase. At the time, the United States Mint found it hard to get hold of silver and was left with no other option but to only strike 1,300 Liberty Seated Dollars in 1851. Things didn’t get any better by 1852 when only 1,100 coins were minted.
Silver prices remained high right up until the 1860s, which also resulted in low mintage numbers for the Liberty Seated Dollar. During this decade, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to American coinage and was included on the Liberty Silver Dollar in 1866. This means that all coins minted before this date will not display the famous inscription. When the Coinage Act of 1873 authorized the Trade Dollar, production of the Liberty Seated Dollar was stopped.
Liberty Seated Dollars were eventually struck at four different mints including Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City. They were also the first ever coins to be produced at the Carson City Mint where Liberty Silver Dollars were minted from 1870 to 1873.
Many people believe that the earliest issues are more valuable than later Liberty Seated Dollars but this isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, the earlier coins, such as those minted in the 1840s, are valuable and highly sought after; however, they aren’t the only key dates.
Liberty Seated Dollars from 1851 and 1852 are worth more than common issues because very few were produced. The 1866 coin without the added IN GOD WE TRUST motto is another rare Liberty Seated Dollar, of which only two specimens are known to exist. Then there are the 12 to 15 surviving 1870 San Francisco coins that fetch well over one million dollars. Of course, any Liberty Seated Dollar in uncirculated condition will also have a considerably higher value, as will specimens that have been preserved in excellent condition.
Celebrated for their history and beauty, Liberty Seated Dollars are classic American coins that guarantee to add value to any collection. These coins will also offer you countless years of enjoyment, regardless of which year of issue you choose and how many you wish to collect.
Although the series lasted over three decades, Liberty Seated Dollars were struck in limited quantities and later melted. They were also heavily exported, meaning there aren’t as many surviving specimens as you may think. The only upside to fewer coins existing is that you can rest assured that the value of your Liberty Seated Dollars will only rise as time goes on. With all this in mind, now is the best time to start searching for Liberty Seated Dollars for your personal collection.
If you would like to purchase rare Liberty Seated Dollars, feel free to contact Capital Gold Group for professional assistance. We take away the hassle of sourcing specific rare coins by doing all the work on your behalf and offer peace of mind that all of your purchases are genuine.