By Jay Turner for PCGS ……
Silver dollar variety collecting has been a passion for many collectors for decades. PCGS now announces an additional variety attribution service to include the recent reference The United States Trade Dollar Challenge 50 Set by John B. Coxe. This variety guide adds to the increasing list of silver dollars that PCGS will attribute including Top-100, Top-50, Hitlist, and Elite 30 Morgan and Peace Dollar VAM varieties.
The Trade Dollar was introduced in 1873 after the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873. The dollar was produced in a higher weight of 420 grains, 1.8% higher than the normal Liberty Seated Dollars in circulation in the United States. The goal was for the U.S. to produce a trade coinage for Asia, especially China, where the favored currency was the Mexico 8 reales. The Trade Dollar would have legal-tender status in the United States up to a limit of five dollars.
With the price of silver dropping below the dollar face value, many of the Trade Dollars exported to China would be reimported to the United States for commerce since they were worth more than their silver content. The Trade Dollar would be demonetized in the United States on July 22, 1876 because of this. Only coins needed for international trade would be produced going forward, yet the coins continued to be struck, paid out, and spent in American commerce. On February 22, 1878, Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman was able to end production of the coin, but Proofs were dated as late as 1885.
With the rise of people studying coins for varieties, silver dollars became a well trod area of collecting. Trade Dollars, with their complex history and links to international trade, have recently seen an increase in collectors. With this new reference, The United States Trade Dollar Challenge 50 Set by John B. Coxe, the variety attribution will expand past the few pieces in the Fivaz-Stanton Cherrypickers’ Guide varieties.
For more information about PCGS and its variety attribution programs, please visit www.pcgs.com/varietyfaq.
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For more information from PCGS, click on the image below.