Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 1384

1877-S. PCGS graded MS-64. Nice russet and light golden toning. The surfaces have the usual lofty levels of mint luster and each side is overlaid with attractive medium-deep toning. Very sharply struck on the high points, the only marks of any note being a small one on the right arm and another in the field right of the elbow in the right obverse field behind Liberty's arm.

Silver Dollars had never been popular with Easterners, who had stubbornly refused to lug such bulky coins around with them in their pockets and change purses. And yet, the Mint kept right on striking them. That is, they were made annually until 1873, when Congress passed the Act of 1873 demonetizing Silver Dollars (at the time, Seated Dollars). Instead, a new Trade Dollar was substituted. The Trade Dollar was meant to circulate in the Far East, specifically in the China trade, which then was burgeoning.

However, quick-witted Americans soon began to buy them up at their bullion value. (Since Trade Dollars had never been monetized they could not technically be placed into circulation in the States.) These they then sold to jobbers who turned around and wholesaled them to employers. The employers foisted them off on their employees, making a small, but useful profit on the transaction! Imagine the stink that would arise if your employer were to pay your wages in, say, unspendable Canadian dollars, and you get some idea of the hassle US Trade Dollars caused. Congress finally solved the mess in 1887 when it canceled the issue's authorization and ceased production (PCGS # 7046) .
Estimated Value $1,800 - 1,900.


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