Die Records

The following information concerning trade dollar dies is from the records of the Engraving Department and other Mint files and has never appeared previously in a numismatic publication. The records are fragmentary and incomplete. Nonetheless, some valuable information is imparted:

 

 

1873:

July 12, 1873: 4 pairs of dies were shipped to Carson City.

July 13, 1873: 6 pairs of dies were shipped to San Francisco.

September 22, 1873: 6 pairs of dies were shipped to San Francisco.

October 18, 1873: 2 pairs of dies were shipped to Carson City.

November 11, 1873: 6 pairs of dies were shipped to San Francisco for 1874 coinage.

November 14, 1873: 6 pairs of dies were shipped to Carson City for 1874 coinage.

 

 

1874:

February 26, 1874: 12 obverse and 6 reverse dies were ordered for shipment to San Francisco (sent on March 17th)

February 27, 1874: 4 obverse and 6 reverse dies were ordered for San Francisco (to be sent hardened).

March 24, 1874: Note under this date in records states that 15 obverse and 15 reverse dies were sent to San Francisco in 1873; 8 obverse and 8 reverse dies to Carson City in 1873.

April 9, 1874: Inquiry instituted re: broken package seal on 10 dies sent to Carson City.

June 26, 1874: Note mentions that Proofs are struck in a screw press.

June 27, 1874: 6 pairs of dies were sent to San Francisco.

June 19, 1874: 6 pairs of dies were sent to Carson City.

July 17, 1874: 6 pairs of dies were sent to Carson City.

August 3, 1874: 12 obverse and 24 reverse dies were sent to San Francisco—to be 1/4th inch longer than the present (order).

October 21, 1874: Carson City order: 18 pairs of dies.

November 12, 1874: 24 pairs of dies sent to San Francisco, 18 pairs to Carson City; coiner suggests steel plate at San Francisco rather than added length (regular length was 2.5 inches).

 

 

1875:

January 9, 1875: 175 Proof trade dollars [dated 1874 or earlier] were released into circulation.

February 5, 1875: The San Francisco Mint reports that 30 obverse and 27 reverse dies were destroyed (1874-dated dies).

July 10, 1875: San Francisco requests 6 pairs of dies (sent July 28th).

December 8, 1875: 24 obverse and 2 reverse dies sent to Carson City for 1876.

 

 

1876:

January 3, 1876: 1875 Philadelphia Mint dies destroyed, amounting to 6 obverse and 7 reverses; 3 reverses held over for 1877.

March 21, 1876: San Francisco die destruction; 30 obverses and 27 reverses.

October 3, 1876: Approximately 530,000 trade dollars were reported melted at Osaka, Japan in August and September 1876.

November 10, 1876: 6 obverses ordered for Carson City (1877 dated).

November 11, 1876: Carson City die order for 1877: 6 obverses (sent December 4, 1876)

November (date unknown), 1876: San Francisco die order for 1877: 6 pairs (partial order?).

November 24, 1876: 6 obverses ordered for San Francisco (1877 dated).

December 21, 1876: San Francisco dies sent; 18 obverses and 8 reverses.

 

 

1877:

January 3, 1877: Philadelphia dies destroyed, 8 obverses and 8 reverses (of 1876); none held over.

July 7, 1877: Engraver says one pair of hubs executed in fiscal year 1876-7.

July 19, 1877: 24 dies of "best quality steel" ordered for San Francisco.

July 19, 1877: Note states that average number of trade dollars struck per die pair is 175,000; earlier, it had been much lower.

 

 

1878:

January 3, 1878: Philadelphia dies destroyed, 30 obverse and 31 reverse; none held over. Only 26 obverses and 30 reverses were actually used, however; one unused pair destroyed because of defective hardening.

January 11, 1878: 125 Proof coins were released into circulation.

December 16, 1878: 5 obverse trade dollar dies sent to San Francisco for 1879.

 

 

1880:

December 29, 1880: San Francisco returns 36 reverse dies to Philadelphia.

 

 

1882:

January 14, 1882: 1 pair of dies destroyed at Philadelphia (from 1881 coinage).

 

1885:

January 2, 1885: 1 pair of dies destroyed at Philadelphia (1884). "None struck."