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SERIES: Liberty Seated Dollars 1840-1873
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1842 $1 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS64+

PCGS MS64+

PCGS MS64
PCGS #:
6928
Diameter:
38.10 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
26.73 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
184,618
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$21,850 • NGC MS64 • 4-1-2008 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 4,000 R-4.2 26 / 30 TIE 40 / 45 TIE
60 or Better 160 R-7.4 28 / 30 40 / 45
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 30 1 / 45
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64+ PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 6/2005:223, $12,650

1 MS64+ PCGS grade

Share Collection - Legend Collection of Mint State Seated Liberty Dollars - Bruce Morelan Collection of Mint State Seated Liberty Dollars

3 MS64 PCGS grade

Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Issaquah Collection

3 MS64 PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 9/2005:538, $7,763

3 MS64 PCGS grade
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64+ PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 6/2005:223, $12,650

1 MS64+ PCGS grade

Share Collection - Legend Collection of Mint State Seated Liberty Dollars - Bruce Morelan Collection of Mint State Seated Liberty Dollars

3 MS64 PCGS grade

Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Issaquah Collection

3 MS64 PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 9/2005:538, $7,763

3 MS64 PCGS grade
3 MS64 PCGS grade  

Monument Hill Collection - Stack's/Bowers 4/2016:13103, $6,462.50

3 MS64 PCGS grade  

Heritage 1/2007:5187, $9,775

3 MS64 PCGS grade  

Heritage 9/2015:4032, $9,400

3 MS64 PCGS grade  

Legend Numismatics, sold privately in 2/2007 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 5/2015:98561, $11,162.50

Q. David Bowers: The following narrative, with minor editing, is from my "Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia" (Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc., 1993).

Coinage Context

Silver shortage continues: The supply of domestic silver remained small, and the production of silver coins 'was therefore smaller than it otherwise could have been. Unlike 1841 dollars, quantities of which are believed to have been exported in the early 1850s, most 1842 dollars were probably used within the borders of the United States.

The Assay Commission found that the fineness of silver coins (of all denominations as a class) minted at Philadelphia this year was .9009, or very close to .901, significantly (in terms of tolerances accepted at the time) above the legal standard of .900. (Information concerning the Assay Commission was given in the Annual Reports for most years.)

At the time the United States Mint was much more careful on such matters than were most mints of other countries. The finenesses of foreign gold and silver coins, as assayed at the Philadelphia Mint in the 1840s, were apt to vary widely.

Numismatic Information

Circulated grades: Here is one of those numismatic mysteries that make the collecting of Liberty Seated dollars such a fascinating pursuit: circulated 1842 dollars, a date with approximately the same mintage as 1841, are nevertheless nearly four times as commonly found on the market as are 1841s. Examples are plentiful in all grades from Very Fine to AU.

Mint State grades: Examples of the 1842 Liberty Seated dollar are occasionally available in grade levels of MS-60 to MS-63, but in higher grades the issue is a rarity. This is the first Liberty Seated dollar variety that has any claim to general availability in Mint State, but, even so, in absolute terms Mint State specimens are rare.

Varieties

Circulation strikes:

1-2. Normal Date: Breen-5428. At least three obverse dies were used, making the positional varieties known today. One of these dies was used to coin Proofs (described below).

3. Blundered Date: With part of a numeral punched into the base of the rock above the 4 and 2 of date. 2 of date repunched at bottom. One reported specimen had rim cud breaks on the obverse rim. Discovered by David Rubin, 1988. (David Rubin's letter to the editor of The Gobrecht Journal, published July 1988.)

Circulation strike mintage: 184,618; Delivery figures by day: May 31: 11,000; June 30: 16,500; August 31: 5,000; September 30: 52,000; December 31: 100,118.

Estimated quantity melted: Unknown Approximate population MS65 or better: 0 or 1 (URSO)

Characteristics of striking: Usually seen well struck, but there are exceptions (including some lightly struck on stars 4 through 6 on the obverse and lightly struck at the top of the shield and on the eagle's neck on the reverse).

Known hoards of Mint State coins: None

Commentary

In circulated grades this is one of the most plentiful of all Liberty Seated silver dollars.