The 1952 ANA Sale, August 16-21, 1952, New Netherlands Coin Co. The trade dollars in this sale, catalogued by John Jay Ford, Jr., were described meticulously.
1873 Proof, almost fully brilliant. Well struck, with partial wire edge. Minute indications of careless handling. $27.50.
1873-S and 1873-CC. VG or better and Fine to VF. Usual minute defects. $10.00 (the pair).
1874 Brilliant, perfect Proof. $20.00.
1874-S Bright Unc. Not fully struck up on head with the slightest signs of "bag handling." Lustrous, attractive coin. $7.00.
1874-CC VF or better. Chop and puncture mark on obverse. Also, 1874. Fine to VF. $8.00 (the pair).
1875 Br. Proof. Evidence of cleaning and slight mishandling. $16.00.
1875-S and 1876-S. About VF. With slight obverse edge bruise. $7.00 (the pair).
1875-CC Almost Unc. Mostly brilliant and sharply struck. Few unimportant defects. $9.50.
1876 Br. Proof. Somewhat toned with a partial wire edge. Apparently cleaned, many years ago. $15.50.
1876-S and 1876-CC. VF. Last with one or two minor defects. $8.50 (the pair).
1877 Mostly brilliant Proof. Slightly toned on reverse. $16.50.
1877 and 1877-S. EF. First weakly struck on head, but lustrous. $7.00 (the pair).
1877 and 1877-S. VF. The 1877-S is somewhat defective upon obverse. $6.50 (the pair).
1877-CC EF. Reverse particularly well struck and lustrous. $18.50.
1877-CC Strictly VF. $12.00.
1878 Proof. Almost fully brilliant. $17.50.
1878-S Fine to VF; VF with a few small gouges on obverse and two reverse edge bruises; Ex. Fine, gouge on face; AU. Partly choice. $9.75 (the group).
1878-CC VG. Unimportant edge bruise on reverse. $13.00.
1879 Br. Proof. Just beginning to tone. $15.50.
1880 Mostly brilliant Proof. $16.00.
1881 Absolutely brilliant Proof. Almost a gem. $24.00.
1882 Another brilliant Proof. Just about perfect. $21.00.
1883 Br. Proof. Some dark tarnish upon obverse in one or two small areas. $17.50.
Stacks sale of the Davis-Graves Collection, Part I, April 8-10, 1954. This collection of trade dollars was complete through the year 1882.
1873 AU. $9.00.
1873-CC EF. $25.00.
1873-S VF. $25.00.
1874 EF. $7.00.
1874-CC EF. $15.00.
1874-S EF. $7.00.
1875-CC Unc. $12.00.
1875-S VF. $5.00.
1876 EF. $5.00.
1876-CC VF. $10.00.
1876-S Unc., Proof surface. $8.50.
1877 Proof. Faint nicks. $30.00.
1877-CC VF. $16.00.
1877-S EF. $5.00.
1878 Br. Proof. $26.50.
1878-CC EF. $52.50.
1878-S EF. $5.00.
1879 Br. Proof. $25.00.
1880 Br. Proof. $25.00.
1881 Br. Proof. $32.50.
1882 Br. Proof. $30.00.
The Anderson-Dupont Collection sold by Stacks, November 11-13, 1954. This New England estate holding featured a complete set of trade dollars up to and including the rare 1884. A number of notable quality branch mint coins were included, namely Uncirculated specimens of 1873-CC, 1873-S, 1877-CC, and 1878-CC. The sale played to an appreciative audience, and strong prices were realized.
1873 Br. Proof. $46.00.
1873-CC Unc. $45.00.
1873-S Brilliant Unc. $41.00.
1874 EF. $8.00.
1874-CC AU. $16.00.
1874-S Unc. $20.00.
1875 Br. Proof. $52.00.
1875-CC VF. $12.00.
1875-S EF. $7.50.
1876 Br. Proof. $35.00.
1876-CC EF. $12.75.
1876-S Unc. $13.00.
1877 Br. Proof. $43.00.
1877-CC Brilliant Unc. $47.00.
1877-S AU. $6.50.
1878 Br. Proof. $44.
1878-CC Unc. $170.00.
1878-S Unc. $8.75.
1879 Br. Proof. $42.50.
1880 Br. Proof. $38.00.
1881 Br. Proof. $47.00.
1882 Br. Proof. $35.00.
1883 Br. Proof. $55.00.
1884 Splendid Proof. $2,500.00.
In the February 1955 issue of The Numismatist, F.C. Schneider of Washington, D.C. offered the following trade dollars for sale:
1873 Proof $37.50.
1873-S EF $15.00.
1874 Proof $30.00.
1874-CC Unc. $30.00.
1874-S Unc. Few abrasions $15.00.
1875 Proof $37.50.
1875-CC EF Abrasions $12.00.
1875-S EF $10.00.
1876 Proof Br. $27.50.
1876 Unc. broken Es and Fs $12.50.
1876-CC EF $20.00.
1876-S Unc. Abrasions $9.00.
1877 Br. Proof $37.50.
1877-S Unc. Large S $10.00.
1877-S EF, Small s $7.50.
1878 Br. Proof $30.00.
1878-CC EF $60.00.
1879 Br. Proof $27.50.
1880 Br. Proof $27.50.
1881 Br. Proof $32.50.
1882 Br. Proof $28.50.
1883 Br. Proof $35.00.
The November 1955 issue of The Numismatist contained an advertisement from the Imperial Coin Company (Benjamin Stack), Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring Carson City trade dollars.
1873-CC EF, choice $35.00.
1873-CC Fine, very scarce $15.00.
1873-CC VF, very scarce $25.00.
1874-CC VF, scarce $20.00.
1875-CC EF $17.50.
1875-CC VF, chopmarked $12.50.
1877-CC VF, rare $45.00.
1878-CC The most difficult coin to obtain in this set. Very rare and seldom offered for sale. Uncirculated, but faint signs of mishandling. Records to $190.00, but only $140.00.
In the April 1957 issue of The Numismatist, Abner Kreisberg of Beverly Hills, California offered the following coins for sale, among which were some chopmarked pieces. Beginning in the late 1950s, dealers imported large quantities of chopmarked trade dollars from the Orient, especially from Hong Kong. By this time, such pieces had significant values.
1873 VF $12.00.
1873-S Unc. Very scarce $60.00.
1873-CC Unc. Cabinet friction. Scarce. $60.00.
1874 Unc. A beautiful coin $17.50.
1874-S Chopmarks. EF $9.00.
1874-S EF $12.50.
1874-CC Unc. $40.00, EF $25.00, VF $16.50, F $10.00.
1875 Br. Proof. Scarce $75.00.
1875-S Unc. $20.00.
1875-CC Unc. $30.00, EF $20.00, VF $16.50, F $11.50.
1875-S Unc. Scarce $20.00, AU $15.00, AU with chopmarks $10.00, EF $12.50, EF with Chopmarks $7.50.
1876 Unc. $15.00.
1876-CC Scarce. Counterstamped on reverse F.A.A. VF $20.00.
1876-S Unc. $14.00, AU with chopmarks $10.00, EF with chopmarks $7.50, Fine $6.00.
1877 Impaired Proof $45.00, Unc. $17.50, EF $10.00, VF $8.00, F $6.00.
1877-S Unc. $14.00, AU $11.50, AU with chopmarks $9.00, EF $9.00, VF $7.00, F $5.00, VG $3.50.
1877-CC Unc. Very scarce $125.00, VF $37.50.
1878-S Unc. $20.00, AU polished $7.00, VF $7.00, F $5.00.
1879 Br. Proof gem $65.00.
1880 Proof $42.50.
The December 1958 issue of The Numismatist carried this listing by B. M. Douglas of Washington, D.C.:
1873 Br. Proof hairlines $62.00, BU $25.00, AU $19.00, VF $10.00.
1873-CC AU $49.00.
1873-S BU $49.00, AU $30.00.
1874 VF $9.95, F $7.00.
1874-CC AU $29.00, EF $22.50, EF chopmarked $9.95.
1874-S BU $21.00, BU chopmarked $15.00, AU $10.95, VF $9.00, EF chopmarked $7.00.
1875-CC BU $29.00, EF $19.00, VF $13.50.
1875-S BU $16.00, BU chopmarked $11.00, AU $10.95, AU $8.00, EF $8.95, EF chopmarked $6.95, VF $7.25.
1876-O EF $29.00.
1876-S BU $14.50, AU $11.00, EF $8.95, AU chopmarked $8.00.
1877 EF $8.50.
1877-CC EF $45.00.
1877-S BU $13.00, AU $9.00, EF $7.25, AU chopmarked $6.75, BU proof surface $15.00.
1878-CC EF rarest date $97.50.
1878 AU $11.00, VF $7.50, F $5.50.
1880 Br Proof $50.00, Br. Proof hairlines $45.00.
The September 1959 issue of The Numismatist carried an advertisement from Chen Cho-Wei of Kowloon, Hong Kong, offering the following trade dollars for sale. At the time he was a major supplier of trade dollars to dealers and collectors.
1874-S EF $10.00, AU $15.00.
1874-CC EF $25.00, AU $30.00, Unc. $40.00.
1874-S 1 chopmark $15.00.
1875-CC EF $20.00, AU $25.00, Unc. $30.00.
1875-S EF $10.00, AU $13.00, Unc. $18.00.
1875-S 1 chopmark $10.00.
1876-S EF $10.00, AU $12.00, Unc. $15.00.
1877-S EF $9.00, AU $10.00, Unc. $14.00.
1877-S 1 chopmark $10.00.
1878-S EF $9.00, AU $10.00, Unc. $15.00.
In 1959, the publication of the first edition of John Willems book, The United States Trade Dollar, spurred interest in trade dollars, as did the second edition (with a much larger print run) in 1965.
A great investment market in coins extended from 1960 to 1990. There were fluctuations, and there were times in which the interest dwindled somewhat, but many transactions of the 1960s and early 1970s were made with investment in mind, and most made from the mid-1970s through 1980 had the same objective. Trade dollarsespecially Proofs and the more common business strike varieties in higher gradesgot caught up in the trend in a big way beginning in the mid-1970s.
Starting about 1960, coin collecting became a national pastime. Attracted by investment possibilities in rolls and Proof sets (among other items), members of the public discovered numismatics. The advent of Coin World in 1960, the first weekly coin periodical, did much to quicken the pace of activity. By the time that The Coin Dealer Newsletter made its debut in 1963, many dealers, including certain members of the highly respected Professional Numismatists Guild, were linked together by Teletype circuits. Coin collecting became big business. The great Treasury release of long-hidden Morgan and Peace dollarsincluding previously rare datesin 1962 and 1963 also did much to stimulate interest.
Investors entered the market in droves. Numerous companies were set up by and for investors. In Houston, Texas, a firm named PACE was backed by physicians with money to spend, and published bid and ask prices for rolls and Proof sets. Deals amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars were not unusual. For the first time, certain leading dealers had sales over $1 million per year.
Investors were told, and came to believe, that to be of "investment quality" a coin should be in Uncirculated (the term "Mint State" was not generally used until the 1970s) or Proof. The typical investor cared little about numismatics or coin history, and sought only profit: as much as possible and as soon as possible.
It goes without saying that the most common coins are those that appear on the market most frequently. Some investors turned their attention to trade dollars; not to rare dates, but ones that appeared on the market with regularity. The Coin Dealer Newsletter published bid and ask prices for "types"examples of common dates. As the advance or retreat of these trade dollars could be followed each week, a number of investors were attracted to them.
As time went on in the 1970s and 1980s, the prices of trade dollars rose. To be sure, the values of coins in VF, Extremely Fine, and About Uncirculated increased, but most attention was focused upon Mint State and Proof examples. After about 1975, most transactions involving Mint State and Proof trade dollars involved investors. Average collectors were literally priced out of the competition for higher-grade pieces. However, investors concentrated mainly upon "types" and not rare varieties, with the result that rarities such as Mint State 1873-CC, 1873-S, 1876-CC, etc., coins were generally overlooked, and sold for only modest premiums over "type" prices. An exception was 1878-CC, as its low mintage figure stood out like a sore thumb and created an appeal that even the most unstudied investor could appreciate.
Many of the following advertisements and auction prices quoted from the period from about 1975 to the late 1980s must be analyzed in the context of investor purchases.
The October 1960 issue of The Numismatist printed an advertisement from B. M. Douglas of Washington, D.C. offering trade dollars for sale, some of them with chopmarks. In this era several American dealers were importing trade dollars from Hong Kong, and the selection of dates represented those generally available in the Orient at the time:
1873 Unc. $32.50.
1873-S AU $39.00, EF $30.00.
1874-S Unc. $25.00, AU $18.00, VF $10.00.
1874-S Unc. 2 chops $16.00, AU chop $11.50, EF chop $9.50.
1874-CC EF $32.00.
1875-CC AU $30.00, EF $24.00, VF $17.50.
1875-S Unc. $21.00, AU $15.00, EF $12.00, VF $8.95.
1875-S Unc. 2 chops $14.00, AU chop $11.00.
1876 EF, nicks $7.00.
1876-CC EF $25.00, VF $19.00.
1876-S Unc. $18.00, AU $13.00, VF $8.95.
1877-CC Unc. scarce $100.00, VF many tiny nicks $20.00.
1877-S Unc. $17.00, Unc. proof surface $19.00, AU $12.00, EF $9.95.
1878-S Unc. $17.50, Unc. proof surface $19.00, AU $14.00.
The December 1960 issue of The Numismatist carried an advertisement from James Incorporated, Louisville, Kentucky, offering the following trade dollars for sale. Undoubtedly, these were recently imported from the Orient at the time. "In most instances we do have more than one each," the solicitation noted.
1874-CC EF $82.00, VF $23.50.
1874-S AU $16.95, EF $13.95, VF $9.95.
1875-CC EF $24.50, VF $17.50.
1875-S AU $14.95, EF $12.95, VF $8.95.
1876-S AU $14.95, EF $12.95, VF $8.95.
1877 VF $9.50.
1877-S EF $11.95, VF $8.95.
In the July 1961 issue of The Numismatist, B.M. Douglas, Washington, D.C., advised readers in as follows in his advertisement: "We have just obtained another lot of trade dollars. Now is the time to obtain these..." Undoubtedly these were imports from the Orient. The listing is as follows:
1873 EF $17.50, Unc. $35.00
1873-S EF $32.00.
1874-DD EF $35.00
1874-S EF $14.00, AU $19.00.
1875-CC F $15.00, VF $22.00, EF $28.00.
1875-S EF $12.95, AU $17.00.
1876-CC VF $22.00, EF $31.00.
1876-S EF $12.00, AU $16.00, Unc. $21.00.
1877-S EF $10.00, AU $13.00.
1878-S EF $10.00, AU $13.00, Unc. $18.00.
In the January 1962 issue of The Numismatist, Empire Coin Company, Inc., Binghamton, New York, ran a full page advertisement titled "U.S. Trade Dollars: Compare Our Low Prices and Careful Grading."
Offered were trade dollars in the following groupsitems recently purchased by James F. Ruddy in Hong Kong (whose experience there is related earlier in the present book).
EF trade dollar, date of our choice $11.00.
EF trade dollars, three different dates of our choice $29.00.
EF trade dollars, five different dates of our choice $49.00.
AU trade dollars, date of our choice. $14.50.
AU trade dollars, three different dates of our choice $38.00.
AU trade dollars, five different dates of our choice $65.00.
Br. Unc. trade dollars, date of our choice $19.75.
Br. Unc. trade dollars, three different dates of our choice $56.00.
Dealers and investors special: Ten mixed trade dollars, EF to AU, dates of our choice $89.75.
Dealers and Investors super special: One hundred mixed trade dollars, dates of our choice $895.00.
"Empire Coin Company has the largest stock of trade dollars ever obtained by any dealer. This is an outstanding opportunity to collect or invest in these beautiful coins an opportunity that may never happen again! All coins are choice. Satisfaction is guaranteed."
Stacks sale of the Samuel W. Wolfson Collection, May 3-4, 1963. In keeping with just about every high-quality specialized collection of trade dollars formed during the twentieth century, the Wolfson Collection had a run of Philadelphia Mint Proofs 1873-1883, most of which were in finer states of preservation. The mintmarks varied in quality but contained some notable pieces, namely Mint State specimens of 1874-CC, 1876-CC, 1877-CC, 1878-CC. The rare 1884 was, of course, the highlight of the offering.
1873 Br. Proof, exquisite iridescent blue toning. $160.00.
1873-S About Unc., somewhat burnished. $21.00.
1873-CC EF, choice. $53.00.
1874 Brilliant iridescent Proof. $130.00.
1874-S Br. Unc., lightly toned. $32.00.
1874-CC Br. Unc., just about "gem" quality. $65.00.
1875 Br. Proof, partial iridescent toning. $135.00.
1875-S Br. Unc. $26.00.
1875-CC Fine to VF. $22.00.
1876 Proof, not in full brilliance. $57.00.
1876-S About Unc. $14.00.
1876-CC A lovely richly toned Unc. specimen. $82.50.
1877 Br. Proof, partially toned. A few hairlines. $140.00.
1877-S Br. Unc. $30.00.
1877-S A shade from Unc. $24.00.
1877-CC Br. Unc., usual bag marks. $87.50.
1878 Br. Proof, light golden toning. $126.00.
1878-S Br. Unc., lightly toned. $21.00.
1878-CC Br. Unc., a few minor bag marks. $310.00.
1879 Br. Proof. $82.50.
1879 Impaired Proof. $44.00.
1880 Br. Proof. $82.00.
1881 Br. Proof. $95.00.
1882 Br. Proof, minor hairlines in obverse field. $75.00.
1883 Brilliant iridescent Proof. $110.00.
1884 A gem brilliant and iridescent Proof. $8,750.00.
In the March 1965 issue of The Numismatist, B.M. Douglas, Washington, D.C., offered what must have been pieces he acquired in quantities from the Orient. They were advertised as follows:
1877-S, 1876-S Unc. each $27.00.
1874-S, 1875-S, 1876-S, 1877-S, Unc. with 2 or 3 chops, each $17.50.
Unc., but only one chop. Dates to be of our choice $20.00.
Trade dollars VF, many chops $5.95.
Trade Dollars, VG, with many, many, many chops $3.95.
The December 1965 issue of The Numismatist included an advertisement from the Cheyenne Coin Shop (Tom Mason), Cheyenne, Wyoming, offering trade dollars at the following prices:
1873 F $29.50, VF $49.50, EF-AU $65.00, Proof rev. scratches $65.00, Proof $250.00.
1873-CC VF $49.50, EF $75.00.
1873-S Unc. $95.00.
1874 Proof hairlines $250.00.
1874-S chopmarks $9.50, Unc. $75.00.
1874-CC XF $75.00.
1875 Proof hairlines $195.00, Proof $325.00.
1875-CC F $25.00, VF $49.50, EF $75.00.
1875-S AU chopmarks $17.50, AU $35.00.
1875-S cut over "CC" AU $350.00.
1876 F $14.50, Proof hairlines $295.00, Proof $350.00.
1876 with berry [Type I rev.], EF $32.50.
1876-CC Unc. $125.00.
1876-S chopmarks $9.50, EF $39.50.
1876-S no berry [Type II rev.], Unc. $49.50.
1877 F $12.50, VF $16.50, Unc. $75.00, Proof $475.00.
1877-CC Unc. $149.50.
1877-S F, chopmarks $9.50, Unc. $42.50.
1878 Proof, toned gem $450.00.
1878-CC F $125.00, VF $175.00, EF $195.00, AU $250.00.
1878-S VF, chopmarks $9.50, EF-AU $29.50.
1879 Proof $295.00, Proof gem $350.00.
1880 Proof gem $295.00.
1881 Proof gem $350.00.
1882 Proof gem $325.00.
1883 Proof, impaired $195.00, Proof gem $350.00.