1850 $1 MS (PCGS# 6937)
The September 2011 Philadelphia Americana Sale
Lot Number: 5031
View the Original Auction
One of the historic rarities of this challenging series, the presentation of <em>any </em>1850 Seated dollar always commands attention. In Mint State these are highly desirable, and the final feature here is one of the most important--high eye appeal. Notice the elegant blue, russet and rose toning that graces the obverse and reverse, highlighting each letter and device while the luster peaks through from beneath. The strike is sharp too, as all the stars have full radial lines and the fields show a degree of reflectivity as well. A few scattered nicks are present on the surfaces, but none are deep or particularly distracting. Silver coinage from our mints essentially fell apart by 1850, as the massive inflows of gold starting to appear on the market from California Gold Rush began to disrupt the ever changing relationship between the value of gold to silver. With so much gold coming to market, the price of silver rose in relative terms above the price of gold. Cause and effect, by 1850 it was discovered that silver coins could be gathered up at face value and melted for profit. Imagine that, and just what did people do--run, rinse and repeat that cycle over and over, laying waste to the pretty silver coins then in circulation. Mintage for the silver dollar--the historic and primary monetary unit in America came in at a paltry 7,500 pieces for the year of 1850, with perhaps 200-300 surviving today in all grades. This prize will undoubtedly capture the imagination and attention of any numismatist for its charming toning, bold strike and impressive rarity.