1857 $1 MS (PCGS# 6945)

2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando #1201

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    5291
  • Grade:
    MS66
  • Price:
    $99,875.00
Lot Description
1857 $1 MS66 NGC. It is our profound pleasure and privilege to bring the Akers' specimen of the 1857 silver dollar to this sale, a standout coin in a collection filled with so many wonderful rarities. The date, while more available than many of the 1850s rarities in the Seated Liberty series, remains elusive in near-Gem, very rare in Gem, and, until now, virtually unobtainable as a Premium Gem. The Philadelphia Mint produced 94,490 silver dollars dated 1857, most of which were exported to China as payment for imported goods such as silk and tea. Today, only a few hundred examples exist in all grades. The balance were allegedly melted primarily in China, with perhaps some melted by the Mint in 1861 for bullion. The year 1857 was a calamitous year for the financial markets. The Panic of 1857 was precipitated by one financial crisis after another, including the September 12, 1857 sinking of the S.S. Central America with the loss of its large cargo of gold coins and bullion. Ultimately, many banks failed and on October 13th, all but one New York City bank halted operations. Many banks nationwide halted specie payments that weren't resumed until December of that year. It is no surprise collectors were hesitant or unable to put away many of the year's dollars. Surviving 1857 silver dollars share interesting striking characteristics. Virtually all have some degree of prooflike surfaces and many are fully prooflike. While about 50 to 100 proofs were struck, the count has been somewhat confused over the years since many prooflike business strikes were described as proofs by early collectors. Another telling characteristic of the 1857 is weakness of strike at Liberty's head and the surrounding top stars. Hardly any specimens stand out as being well-struck with frosty surfaces. These coins are highly valued by business strike collectors…
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