Historical Prices

 

Trends and Prices Over the Years

Trade dollars have been a part of hundreds of auction sales, fixed price lists, and dealer advertisements from the 1880s to the present time. A complete listing would be of book length and is beyond the scope of the present study. The following is a representative selection from the material I studied.

Sales with examples of the 1884 and 1885 trade dollars are mentioned specifically in the pages devoted to these two issues (and in any event do not occur before 1908, the year that these two varieties, previously unknown to the numismatic fraternity at large, were publicized). In general, sales containing one or both of these great rarities usually contained other outstanding trade dollars as well.

I reprint catalogue descriptions (in many instances edited and abbreviated to a listing of date, variety, grade, and price) of auction sales and dealer advertisements having trade dollars, to give an indication of price levels. By examining the prices over a long span of years, you can review the source material that I used, in part, in compiling my data. Note that there is no particular consistency among auction prices and advertising data, even for the same year.

Under the individual sections for each trade dollar variety will be found a complete index of average historical prices for each issue. However, by following this time-line of trade dollar offerings and market comments, the development of collector interest in the series will become evident, as will the emerging interest in rare dates and high grades. I have enjoyed the panorama of prices from lists, auction catalogues, and advertisements, and believe that you will also.

The listing below begins with an 1883 auction sale. At the time, there was little numismatic interest in trade dollars, apart from collectors who routinely acquired one of each Proof every year.

There was virtually no interest in business strikes, which even in Mint State, were apt to sell for face value or even less. It was not uncommon for worn trade dollars to sell for in the 60 to 80 range, even well into the twentieth century!

Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there was little consistency in pricing, and a given variety in a given grade was apt to sell at widely varying prices in different auctions and listings. There were no such things as standard prices then, any more than there are now (refer to the extremely wide variations in auction realizations cited earlier, from the 1985 Krause guide). One of the great fictions in numismatics today in the 1990s is that, for example, at a given point in time an MS-63 1873-CC trade dollar is worth a specific price.

As to the worth of studying prices from the past, "a page of history is worth a volume of logic."

 

Click on a link below to view the following eras:   

1921 - 1950 1951 - 1970 1971 - 1980 1981 - 1990 1991 - Present

 

  Auctions 1880 Thru 1920

H.G. Sampson’s Sale of July 25-26, 1883. Offered were two Proof trade dollars which brought fairly strong prices for the time. At the time, the 1873 was considered by many to be the scarcest and most desirable of the 1873-1883 Proof issues (a prescient observation, for this has been proven true today by research conducted in the 1990s). Curiously, the market levels for Proof trade dollars were higher in the 1880s than they would be two or three decades later!

1873 Proof. $2.00.

1875 Proof. $1.50.

 

Charles Enders, Jr., New York City, offered these trade dollars for sale in the American Journal of Numismatics, 1886:

1878 Proof $1.15

1880 Proof $1.30

 

Lyman H. Low’s sale of the Dr. Henry R. Linderman Collection, June 28, 1887. These two Proof trade dollars were undoubtedly obtained from the Mint when Linderman was director. Not much attention was paid to quality; note that a Proof with a nick sold for more than one which was a "Fine Proof" ("nice" Proof).

1874 Fine, sharp Proof; slight nick on reverse. $1.25.

1874 Fine Proof, sharp. $1.10.

 

S.H. and Henry Chapman’s sale of the Ferguson Haines Collection, October 17-18, 1888, offered a complete set of 1873-1883 Proofs plus a couple of stray mintmarks. Top price honors went to the first year of issue, considered to be the rarest Proof. Of course, in the analysis of such figures today (in the 1990s), researchers do not know what grade differences, if any, existed among the Proofs offered in early sales. Undoubtedly, some coins were more attractive than others. Catalogue descriptions were brief, and unless a coin had a significant impairment, it was apt to be catalogued simply as "Proof."

In 1888 the Chapman brothers were gaining momentum in the coin business. The pair would soon become supreme on the auction scene, and S. Hudson and Henry would continue to gather laurels after their partnership broke up in 1906. Their skimpy descriptions of trade dollars over the years, and errors in rarity estimates, prove that this denomination was not one of their specialties.

1873 Proof. $2.00.

1874 Proof. $1.50.

1875 Proof. $1.60.

1875-CC VF. $1.25.

1876 Proof. $1.50.

1877 Proof. $1.25.

1878 Proof. $1.38.

1878-S Unc. $1.25.

1879 Proof. $1.25.

1880 Proof. $1.15.

1880 Proof. $1.15.

1881 Proof. $1.35.

1882 Proof. $1.35.

1883 Proof. $1.30.

S.H. and Henry Chapman’s sale of June 17-18, 1889, owner’s name not stated, included the following selection of trade dollars. The "rare" comment concerning the very common 1878-S shows that the Chapman brothers had little knowledge of this denomination.

1873 Unc., Brilliant mint lustre. $1.50.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.40.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1878 Unc. Trade dollar. San Francisco mint. Rare thus. $1.05.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.15.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.30.

 

New York Stamp & Coin Company’s sale of the Robert Coulton Davis Collection, January 20-24, 1890, included a nice run of Proof trade dollars. At the time, few numismatists were interested in branch mint coins. The typical cabinet contained only the Philadelphia Mint Proofs, plus, possibly, a stray mintmarked piece or two.

Davis, a Philadelphia druggist, had close ties to the Mint and was also a coin trader; he bought and sold numismatic specimens, and over a period of time he gathered and dispersed collections in various series. In this sale the typical price for a Proof trade dollar was $1.10 to $1.15, or less than the same coins would have sold for in the mid-1880s. Clearly, Proof trade dollars had entered a slump.

Note that the 1873 is the only issue singled out as being "scarce." The cataloguer, David Proskey, was ahead of his time; few others realized that the 1873 Proof was more elusive than most other dates in the series.

1873 Sharp and perfect Proof; scarce. $1.30.

1874 Sharp Proof. $1.35.

1875 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.10.

1876 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.10.

1876-S Minute nicks. $1.10.

1877 Sharp and perfect Proof; scarce. $1.10.

1878 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.10.

1878 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.10.

1879 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.15.

1880 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.15.

1881 Sharp and brilliant Proof. $1.15.

1882 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.15.

1883 Sharp and perfect Proof. $1.15.

Charles Steigerwalt’s Sale No. 30, April 1892, (fixed price list), included the trade dollars listed below. Doing a mail order (primarily) business from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Steigerwalt handled many important properties. His prices represented full market at the time, but his quality was usually above average. The popular term "semi-Proof" is equivalent to today’s "prooflike."

Note that Steigerwalt charged a notable premium for the 1873 and must have considered it to be rarer than the others. Note also the quantity lot of seven 1880 Proofs for $8, or about $1.15 each.

1873 Br. Proof. $2.00.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.75.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.75.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1877-S Unc. $1.35.

1878-S Unc. Semi-Proof. $1.50.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1880 Br. Proofs. 7 pieces for $8.00.

 

Scott’s Catalogue of Gold and Silver Coins, 1893, gave the following prices, among others, for trade dollars. At the time there continued to be little interest in collecting mintmarks, and no premium was attached to them. This does not mean mintmark issues were easy to obtain, however. The prices of mintmarks given by Scott were highly theoretical and did not represent actual market transactions. The only commonly traded coins were Proofs. If, for example, a numismatist in 1893 sought Mint State specimens of 1873-CC and 1876-CC and was willing to pay triple catalogue prices, he would not have been able to find them easily, if at all.

Research concerning relative rarity of branch mint coins was a beginning science, and in the same year Augustus G. Heaton published his Mint Marks monograph. It was not until well in the twentieth century, however, that collectors began to take serious notice of mintmarked trade dollars.

Notice that among the following catalogue prices the Proof 1877 is considered to be the most valuable, and worth twice the price of an Uncirculated 1878-CC! Notice also that most branch mint coins were routinely priced at $2 each Uncirculated; no matter than an Uncirculated 1873-CC was at least a hundred times rarer than an 1875-S in the same grade. Today’s reader of these prices must assume that the Scott pricing was done hastily in 1893, and had little basis in fact. Scott was a merchandising outfit, not a serious numismatic company. However, the firm did much missionary work in attracting new collectors to the hobby. For example, at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, Scott had two sales displays.

Further, in general Scott’s 1893 listings for Proofs tended to be markedly higher than actual auction realizations.

1873 Unc. $2.00, Proof $2.50.

1873-CC Unc. $2.00.

1873-S Unc. $2.00.

1874 Unc. $2.00, Proof $2.50.

1874-CC Unc. $2.00.

1874-S Unc. $2.00.

1875 Unc. $2.00, Proof $2.50.

1875-CC Unc. $2.00.

1875-S Unc. $2.00.

1876 Unc. $2.00, Proof $2.50.

1876-CC Unc. $2.00.

1876-S Unc. $2.00.

1877 Unc. $2.00, Proof $3.50.

1877-CC Unc. $2.00.

1877-S Unc. $2.00.

1878 Proof $2.25.

1878-CC Unc. $1.75.

1878-S Unc. $1.75.

1879 Proof $2.25.

1880 Proof $2.50.

1881 Proof $2.50.

1882 Proof $2.50.

1883 Proof $2.50.

 

Ed. Frossard’s sale of the W.M. Friesner Collection, June 7-8, 1894 (Frossard’s 125th sale). Offered was a run of Proofs from 1873 through 1883, plus a few mintmark issues, none of the latter being of special consequence.

1873 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1873-CC Fine; scarce. $4.60.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1875-CC Fine. $3.00.

1875-S Fine. $1.75.

1875-S Duplicate. $1.00.

1876 EF. $1.80.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1877 Uncirculated. $1.10.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1878 Uncirculated [sic]. $1.10.

1878, 1879, 1880. Trade dollars. Proofs. (Total: 3 pieces). $0.85 each.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.20.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.20.

Ed. Frossard’s sale of the John F. Bateman Collection, December 16-17, 1897. The auction contained a selection of trade dollars, especially Proofs of the later dates.

1873 Fine. $0.80.

1874 VF. $1.30.

1875 Proof, slightly tarnished on reverse. $1.45.

1876-S Fine. $1.00.

1877 EF. $1.00.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.45.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.20.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.10.

 

Ed. Frossard’s sale of the New Jersey Collection, March 8, 1898, included a group of trade dollars from various mints. The owner must have been a disciple of Augustus G. Heaton. The true rarity of Uncirculated branch mint trade dollars is evident here: nearly all are worn. This catalogue illustrates well the predicament of today’s researcher in studying nineteenth century data. A Proof 1877 brought 80 as did a Proof 1878, but a much more common Proof 1879 fetched $1.55.

1873 Br. Proof. $2.00.

1873-CC Fine; nick. $1.00.

1873-S Fine; spotted. $0.85.

1874 Fine Proof. $0.85.

1874-CC VF. $1.25.

1875 Fine Proof. $1.40.

1875-CC VF. $1.45.

1875-S VF. $1.55.

1876-CC Fine, but spotted, especially on reverse. $1.10.

1876-S Unc. $0.90.

1877 Br. Proof. $0.80.

1877-CC Fine. $2.40.

1877-S Large S. EF. $0.70.

1877-S Large S more directly over D than last; small s. Fine (2 pieces). $0.60 each.

1878 Br. Proof. $0.80.

1878-CC Fine; spotted on reverse. Rare. $1.25.

1878-S Unc. $0.55.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.55.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.55.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.55.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1883 Br. Proof. $0.85.

George H. Burfeind, in The Numismatist, March 1902, offered two trade dollars for sale. At the time Burfeind’s main business was selling custom-minted tokens and store cards to collectors and dealers, who used them for souvenir and advertising purposes.

1876-S EF. $0.75.

1879 Proof. $1.20.

Charles Steigerwalt’s fixed price list of April 1904 included these trade dollars. No branch mint issues were included.

1873 Unc. $1.75.

1875 Br. Proof. $2.00.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.75.

 

S.H. and Henry Chapman’s sale of the Ralph Barker Collection, July 7-8, 1904, contained most of the Philadelphia Mint Proofs, although the 1873 was notably absent, and the 1878 (in reality, it was probably an 1878-S) was damaged. At the time, collectors were not aware of the existence of the rare 1884 and 1885 issues.

1874 Proof. Hair marked. Weakly struck in center. $1.

1875 Proof. $1.

1876 Proof. Light nicks in field. $0.80.

1877 Proof. Slight hair marks. $0.80.

1877-S VF. $0.80.

1878 VF. Abraded in field. $0.85.

1879 Proof. $0.90.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1881 Proof. $2.10.

1882 Br. Proof. $2.10.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.40.

 

Lyman H. Low’s sale of the H.G. Brown Collection, Part I, October 11, 1904. H.G. Brown’s early silver dollars—discussed earlier in the book—were mostly mediocre, and following suit, his Proof trade dollars, offered here, apparently were impaired (colloquially, "a little less than perfect"). A connoisseur Brown was not.

1873 EF. $0.80.

1874 Proof, a little less than perfect, which may be here noted as the condition of those that follow. $0.80.

1875 Proof. $0.85.

1876 Proof. $0.85.

1877 Proof. $0.78.

1878 Proof. $0.75.

1879 Proof. $0.65.

1880 Proof. $0.65.

1881 Proof. $1.25.

1882 Proof. $1.20.

1883 Proof. $1.20.

1883 Proof. $0.85.

1877-S Unc., some light nicks. $0.55.

1877-S Good. $0.55.

1877-S An ingeniously constructed counter, probably to keep game with, made out of two dollars, Numbers 1 to 7 revolving. $1.75.

 

Ben G. Green’s Sale of May 13, 1905, included Proof Philadelphia Mint trade dollars and a nice selection of branch mint coins. The 1878 Proof is singled out as being rare, and even though it was "dull," it sold for one of the strongest prices in the series. By now, the aware reader of coin auction catalogues probably realized that certain Carson City coins were virtually unobtainable in Uncirculated grade.

1873 Proof. $1.50.

1873-CC EF. $1.40.

1874 Proof. $1.25.

1874-S Unc. Rare. $2.00.

1875 Proof. $1.25.

1875-CC EF. $1.50.

1875-S Unc. $1.15.

1876 Tarnished Proof. $1.00.

1876-CC EF. $2.00.

1876-S Unc. $1.65.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1877-S VF. $1.00.

1878 Dull Proof. Very rare. 900 coined. $1.50.

1878-S Unc. $1.05.

1879 Proof. Rare. $1.20.

1880 Proof. Rare. $1.15.

1881 Proof. Tarnished. Rare. $1.10.

1882 Proof. Rare. $1.10.

1883 Proof. Rare. $1.40.

 

In the December 1905 issue of The Numismatist, the Arnold Numismatic Company, Providence, Rhode Island, advertised Proof trade dollars, various 1873-1883 dates, for $1.30 each.

 

Lyman H. Low’s sale of the Philip D. Hoch Collection, November 1, 1905. Trade dollars were not popular on the market at the time, and this offering of average to below average coins did not bring face value for the group!

1873 EF; reverse shows it to have been Proof. $0.80.

1873-CC VG. $0.70.

1873-S Good. $0.65.

1874 Good $0.90.

1875 EF. $0.65.

1875-CC VG. $0.70.

1875-S Fine. $0.65.

1876 Fine. $0.65.

1876-CC Good. $0.90.

1876-S Good. $0.75.

1877-CC Good. $0.85.

1877 About Fine. $0.90.

1877-S Abt. Fine. $0.90.

1878 Proof, slightly impaired. $1.00.

1880 Proof. $0.95.

1882 Proof. $1.10.

 

The George Rice Collection, sold by St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company, April 13, 14, 1906. The trade dollars offered were mostly of average quality.

1873 Fine. $2.25.

1873-CC VG. $3.10.

1874 VF. $1.70.

1874-CC VF. $2.35.

1875 VG. $0.80.

1875-CC Fine. $2.15.

1876 Uncirculated. $0.80.

1876-CC Fine. $2.15.

1877 Uncirculated. $1.10.

1877-CC VG. $1.80.

1878 VF. $1.50.

1878-CC VG. $4.10.

 

Ben G. Green’s 23rd Sale, May 25, 1906, contained a straightforward run of Proofs. Note that the 1873 was ignored, and laurels for the highest price went to 1878. Green, in the medical supplies and prosthetics business in Chicago, had a lively coin trade on the side. Virgil M. Brand, wealthy local brewer, was one of his clients.

1873 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.70.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1878 Br. Proof. $2.05.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.45.

Thomas L. Elder’s Sale of May 23, 1907 (Elder’s 11th public auction) included a run of Philadelphia Mint Proofs. Despite being the only coin called "rare," the 1873 languished at just 90, indicative of an oversight of this date which would extend in the market for decades thereafter. The 1878, which by this time was recognized as a key coin—the first "Proof-only" date in the series—took first place at $1.65.

1873 Proof. Rare. $0.90.

1874 Proof. $1.60.

1875 Proof. $1.40.

1876 Proof. $1.40.

1877 Proof. $1.15.

1878 Proof. Scarce. $1.65.

1879 Proof. Scarce. $1.40.

1880 Proof. Scarce. $1.00.

1881 Proof. Scarce. $1.00.

1882 Proof. $1.15.

1883 Proof. $1.05.

 

Henry Chapman’s sale of the Matthew Adams Stickney Collection, June 25-29, 1907. Stickney was one of the great nineteenth century numismatists and amassed a formidable cabinet by the time of his death in 1894. Although he was an early entrant in the mintmark sweepstakes, the grades of his Carson City and San Francisco coins were not particularly noteworthy. This is because there was no ready source of supply in dealer circles for branch mint issues, and most had to be obtained from bullion dealers, who mostly handled worn pieces.

Among Proofs, the highest price was realized by the 1874, a scarce issue. No particular notice seems to have been paid to the 1878 Proof.

1873 Br. Proof. $1.60.

1873-S VF. $1.25.

1874 Br. Proof. $2.00.

1874-S Fine. $2.50.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.70.

1875-CC VG. $0.65.

1875-S VF. $0.65.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1876-CC VG. $1.30.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.30.

1876 Unc. Mint lustre. $0.80.

1876-S Minute S. VF. $1.10.

1876-S Larger S. Unc. $1.25.

1877-S EF. Mint lustre. $0.60.

1877-S Remarkable freak of coinage—only one-half of the edge has been milled, and in consequence it is both a plain and a milled edge at the same time. Fine. $1.30.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1878-S Unc., mint lustre. $1.10.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.55.

 

Lyman H. Low’s sale of the R.T. Rose Collection, September 9-10, 1909, offered mostly Proofs, most of which brought lower prices than they would have sold for on the market 20 years earlier. The term "hay-marked" is equivalent to today’s "hairlined." Such impairments came from the popular practice of cleaning Proofs at regular intervals to keep them brilliant. As an unfortunate example, I mention that the silver coins in the Mint Collection were cleaned with polish (much to the dismay of Farran Zerbe, who alerted readers of The Numismatist to this desecration).

1873 Proof, light scratches on obverse. A distinguishing feature of this specimen, is a well defined line (in the die) through the outer skirt of Liberty, extending from cotton bale to water. $2.00.

1873 Fine. 1874-S VG. $1.25 (the pair).

1874 Proof. $1.25.

1875 Proof, not quite perfect. $0.80.

1875 Proof. $1.10.

1876 Proof. $1.25.

1876-S, 1877-S, VG. $1.00 (the pair).

1877 Proof. Hay-marked and original brilliancy lacking. $1.00.

1878 Proof. Slight tarnish. $1.30.

1878 Proof. $1.00.

1879 Proof. $0.90.

1879 Proof. $1.15.

1880 Proof. $1.15.

1880 Proof. $0.90.

1881 Proof. $1.25.

1881 Proof. $1.25.

1882 Proof. $1.15.

1882 Proof. $1.15.

1883 Proof. $1.30.

1883 Proof. $1.15.

 

Ben G. Green’s sale of the F.J. Loer Collection, May 13, 1910, included these trade dollars, of which the 1878 was proclaimed to be the rarest of the Proofs. At the time, the 1878 was puffed by some dealers, and prices tended to be slightly higher for this date.

1873 VF. $0.90.

1874 Proof. $1.10.

1874-S Abraded. VF. $1.45.

1875 Proof. $1.10.

1875-CC Fine. $0.95.

1875-S EF. $1.15.

1876 Proof. Scarce. $1.10.

1876-CC Good. $0.95.

1876-S VG. $0.80.

1877 Proof. $1.50.

1877-CC Nick on edge of reverse. Fine. $1.45.

1877-S EF. $0.75.

1878 Proof. Rarest of all the trade dollars. 900 coined. $1.50.

1878-S Unc., semiproof. $0.85.

1879 Proof, not in full brilliance. Rare. $1.20.

1880 Proof, a little short of brilliant. Rare. $1.20.

1881 Proof. Rare. $1.20.

1882 Proof. Rare. $1.20.

1883 Proof. Rare. $1.30.

 

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the P.H. Griffith Collection, March 20, 1912. An interest in mintmarks is evident in this sale, and a well-worn 1873-CC brought a very healthy $3.40, actually a remarkable price for the era. The 1874-CC turned in a great performance, too, as did the scratched 1877-CC. The 1878-CC must have caused some excitement when it crossed the block. This sale, more than any other quoted to this point here, marks a departure from the ignore-the-mintmarks philosophy of the past, and a new awareness of rarity. Kudos to B. Max Mehl, who was just beginning to feel his oats as a rare coin auctioneer (actually, his "auctions" were mail bid sales).

1873 Proof. $1.50.

1873-CC VG. $3.40.

1873-S Slight nicks on edge. Fine to VF. $1.60.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.60.

1874-CC VG, near Fine. $2.70.

1874-S Large S. EF. $1.00.

1875 Proof. $1.75.

1875-CC Fine to VF. $1.00.

1876 Proof. $1.60.

1876-CC Fine. $1.85.

1877 Proof. $1.60.

1877-CC A small scratch between second and third stars on left. EF. $5.25.

1878 Proof. $2.35.

1878-CC VG, near Fine. $8.40.

1879 Proof. $1.60.

1880 Proof. $1.55.

1881 Proof. $1.45.

1882 Proof. $1.65.

1883 Proof. $1.65.

 

Henry Chapman’s sale of the George H. Earle Collection, June 25-29, 1912. Earle, a wealthy collector and coin trader, assembled a set of trade dollars that included Proofs. However, it seems that he added Proofs to his set only if worn coins were not available. He collected mainly by dates, and his desire for 1873 to 1877 issues was primarily filled by buying worn mintmarked coins, most of which were of rag-tag quality. Considering that Earle had many rarities in other series, one must assume that trade dollars were not given much attention in his cabinet.

1874 Unc. Slightly chafed. Mint lustre. $0.90.

1874 VF. Chafed. $0.65.

1875-S VF. Chafed. $0.70.

1876 VF. $0.65.

1876-S VF. $0.65.

1877-S EF. $0.70.

1877 Duplicate [but S mintmark not mentioned]. EF. Chafed. $0.70.

1878 Br. Proof. Hairmarked. $1.40.

1878-S Unc. Minute nicks. $1.10.

1878-S EF. $0.65.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.45.

1879 Br. Proofs. (Total: 2 pieces) $1.15 (each).

1880 Br. Proof. $1.40.

1880 Br. Proofs. (Total: 2 pieces) $1.00 (each).

1881 Br. Proof. $1.30.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.60.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.70.

 

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the H.O. Granberg Collection, July 14, 1913. There were several "Granberg Collections," this one being sold in 1913. Granberg, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a coin trader, wheeler-dealer, and hoarder extraordinaire, and trade dollars were among his favorite series. Here, for the first time in an auction sale, is the joint appearance of the two formidable rarities in the series: the 1884 and 1885. However, the listing is mintmarkless.

1873 VG. $0.65.

1874 Fine. $0.65.

1875 Proof. $1.00.

1876 Proof. $1.00.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1878 Proof. $2.40.

1879 Proof. $1.25.

1880 Proof, tarnished. $1.10.

1881 Proof. $1.10.

1882 Proof. $2.00.

1883 Proof, tarnished. $2.00.

1884 Perfect Br. Proof. $765.00.

1885 Magnificent Br. Proof. Only five specimens reported to have been coined. $1,140.00.

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the Charles H. Conover Collection, May 6, 1914, included a complete run of 1873-1883 Proofs. The highest price was achieved by the 1878.

1873 Proof. $1.25.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1876 Br. Proof, partly wire edge. $1.25.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.30.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.80.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.60.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1883 Proof. $1.50.

 

B. Max Mehl’s Sale of the Arthur C. Nygren Collection, November 30, 1914, included some notable branch mint trade dollars. Mehl recognized the Uncirculated 1873-CC for the rarity it is, must have known that the 1873-S was also worthy of more than passing attention, but seemed to have overlooked the even rarer 1876-CC. This offering is one of the nicest and most comprehensive trade dollar collections to cross the block by this point in time. Note, however, that the competition that mandated a price of $8.40 for an 1878-CC in only VG grade at the Griffith sale in 1912 was notably absent here; a Fine 1878-CC was ignored at $2.25.

1873 Proof. $1.25.

1873-CC Unc. Extremely rare in Unc. condition. $3.75.

1873-S Unc. $4.20.

1873-S VF. $1.50.

1873-S EF. $1.25.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.15.

1874-CC EF with some Proof surface. $3.50.

1874-CC Brilliant semi-Proof; hairlines. $4.25.

1874-S EF; considerable mint lustre. $1.60.

1874-S Small S. VF. $1.30.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1875-CC Unc. $3.25.

1875-S AU. $1.25.

1875-S Fine. $1.00.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1876-CC Unc. $2.10.

1876-S Large S. VF. $0.90.

1876-S Very Small S. Unc. $0.80.

1877 Proof. $1.15.

1877-CC AU. $4.00.

1877-S Large S. AU. $0.80.

1877-S Small S. Unc. $0.80.

1877-S Large S. EF. $1.05.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1878-CC Fine. $2.25.

1878-S AU; some Proof surface. $0.80.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1880 Proof. $1.25.

1881 Proof. $1.50.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.40.

 

The United States Coin Co., Inc. sale of the John Brooks Collection, December 10, 1914, offered a date set of trade dollars spiced with a few mintmarks.

1873 VF. $0.70.

1874 EF. $0.70.

1875 Br. Proof. $0.90.

1876 Br. Proof. Two scratches on obverse. $0.85.

1876-S VF. $0.70.

1877 Br. Proof. $0.90.

1877-S VG. $0.65.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.20.

1878-S EF, mint lustre. $0.75.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.15.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.05.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.25.

 

Henry Chapman’s sale of the William F. Brown Collection, January 16, 1915, began with an 1873 that had suffered an unfortunate experience. Chapman did not recognize the rarity of 1878-CC, and it slept at 80.

1873 Proof, badly hairmarked from a gritty cloth wiping. $0.65.

1873-CC Carson City Mint. Fine. $1.60.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1874-S VG. $1.00.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.35.

1875-CC VG. $0.70.

1875-S EF. $1.10.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1876-S Minute s. VF. $1.05.

1877 Br. Proof. $0.95.

1877 EF. Mint lustre. $1.00.

1877-CC VG. $0.75.

1877-S Unc. Slightest abrasion. $0.75.

1878 Proof, hairmarked. $1.00.

1878-CC VG. $0.80.

1878-S EF. $0.75.

1879 Br. Proof. $0.95.

1880 Br. Proof. $ 1.00.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.30.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.05.

 

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the George M. Andrus Collection, January 20, 1915, offered rare Uncirculated examples of 1873-CC and 1876-CC among other trade dollars.

1873-CC Unc., mint lustre. $4.00.

1873-S Unc. $3.25.

1874-CC Close CC. AU, mint lustre with Proof surface. $4.50.

1874-S Unc., mint lustre. $2.35.

1875-CC Unc., mint lustre. $4.25.

1876-CC Unc., brilliant mint lustre. $5.25.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.10.

 

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the Dr. S.T. Millard Collection, March 18, 1915, included a number of trade dollars, among which was a VG 1878-CC, which commanded $7.25, quite a contrast to the 80 price earlier quoted for a similar piece in Henry Chapman’s Brown Collection Sale held two months earlier!

 

The United States Coin Company sale of the collection of a "Prominent American," May 19-21, 1915, offered a run of Proofs 1873-1883 plus a number of mintmarks, including a rare Mint State 1876-CC, although few suspected at the time that this coin in this grade was the rarest of the trade dollars offered. However, one or two bidders did, for the 1876-CC brought the second highest price in the group.

1873 Br. Proof. $1.25.

1873-CC EF, mint lustre. $2.75.

1873-S VF. $1.00.

1874 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1874-S EF. $1.00.

1875 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1875-CC Large CC. Unc., mint lustre. $1.25.

1875-S Unc., mint lustre. $1.00.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1876-CC Unc. $2.10.

1876-S Large S. VF. $1.10.

1876-S Small S. EF, mint lustre. $1.00.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1877-S Unc., mint lustre. $0.75.

1877-S EF. $0.70.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1878-S Unc., mint lustre. $0.75.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.00.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.00.

B. Max Mehl’s Sale of the R. Turner Moore and W.G. Quade Collections, November 23, 1915, included these trade dollars. Most brought about face value, with the highest priced Proof being the 1878 at $1.75, but two others of the same date brought just $1 each.

1873 VF, was a Proof. $1.10.

1873-CC VG. $2.00.

1873-S Prooflike Unc. $2.00.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.60.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.75.

1878 Proof. $1.00.

1878 Proof. $1.00.

1878-S Unc. $1.00.

1879 Proof. $1.00.

1879 Proof. $1.00.

1880 Proof. $1.50.

1880 Proof. $1.00.

1880 Proof. $1.00.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.55.

1883 Proof. $1.15.

 

Henry Chapman’s sale of the Daniel Houpt, Van Buskirk & Bruce Collections, March 14-15, 1917, included a date set of trade dollars 1873-1883

1873 Br. Proof. Very slightly hairmarked. $1.10.

1873 Unc. $1.15.

1874 Br. Proof, slightest hairmarks. $1.15.

1875 Proof. $1.40.

1876 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1877 Br. Proof. $1.20.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.15.

1880 Proof, slight hairmarks. $1.05.

1881 Proof. $1.20.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.15.

1882 Br. Proof. $1.20.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.40.

 

Thomas L. Elder’s sale of the Henry C. Miller Collection, April 13-14, 1917, included this modest selection of trade dollars:

1874-S AU. $1.40.

1875-S Unc. $1.00.

1876-S Unc. $1.00.

1877 Proof. $1.30.

1877-S Unc. $1.00.

1878-S Unc. $1.05.

1880 Proof. $1.20.

1882 Proof. $1.50.

B. Max Mehl’s sale of the H.O. Granberg Collection, July 16, 1919, another holding of this well-known Oshkosh numismatist, included the following trade dollars. Unlike Granberg’s 1913 consignment to Mehl, this one is laden with mintmarks, although none of a quality that would cause connoisseurs to refigure their checkbook balances. Note also the presence of the rare 1884 Proof, which may have been "bought in" by the owner.

1873 Proof, tarnished. $1.30.

1873-CC Nearly Unc. $1.50.

1873-S VG. $1.25.

1874 Proof. $1.35.

1874-CC VG. $1.25.

1874-S Fine. $1.75.

1875-CC EF, some mint lustre. $1.40.

1876-CC Fine. $1.40.

1876-S Unc. $1.25.

1877-CC About Fine. $3.15.

1877-S Bright Unc. $1.30.

1878 Br. Proof. $1.45.

1878-CC VG, nearly Fine. $4.50.

1878-S Unc., frosty mint surface. $1.30.

1879 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1880 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1881 Br. Proof. $1.50.

1882 Br. Proof. $2.00.

1883 Br. Proof. $1.10.

1884 Beautiful brilliant Proof, perfect in every respect. $260.00.

 

 

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1921 - 1950 1951 - 1970 1971 - 1980 1981 - 1990 1991 - Present