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Rare 1884 Trade Dollar, One of Ten Struck, Offered by GreatCollections

Rare 1884 Trade Dollar, One of Ten Struck, Offered by GreatCollections

1884 Trade Silver Dollar PCGS Proof-63 (Ex. Farouk and Norweb Collections)


Collectors may be interested in the exceptional 1884 Trade Silver Dollar up for sale in the upcoming GreatCollections auction. Graded Proof-63 by PCGS, this stunning coin has an impressive pedigree, which includes the King Farouk and Norweb collections. At the time of publication, this lot had 79 bids, with the current high bid at $350,000.00 USD. Five days remain in the auction that closes on Sunday, March 6, 6:51:52 PM Pacific Time (9:51 PM Eastern).

Despite small hairline scratches, this piece is sharply struck and displays an attractive amount of light silver-gray toning. There are only a couple of marks to distract the eye, such as a small toning spot on the obverse directly below Lady Liberty’s elbow. The only other mark can be seen in the field to the right of the date, where a small thread or piece of lint was on the blank planchet when the coin was struck. These two identifying marks do not degrade the coin in any way and actually serve as pedigree markers.

As part of King Farouk of Egypt’s collection, this coin was sold in Sotheby’s Palace Collections of Egypt sale in 1954 to Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb for 325 Egyptian pounds (Sotheby & Co catalogue, pg 16), who held the coin until 1988. Auctioned by Bowers and Merena, the coin passed through a series of hands until purchased by Q. David Bowers. Most recently, this coin realized $423,000 in the 2017 Fun Signature Heritage auction and can be expected to bring a similar amount in the current GreatCollections auction.

Official Trade Dollar production was stopped in 1884, and until recently no official records of production were known to exist.

However, research has proved that officials at the United States Mint approved and supervised the production of these coins. Specifically, notations in the “Die Record Book” kept by the Foreman of the Die Makers’ Room A.W. Straub show that in early 1884 he received one obverse and one reverse die from the engraving department.

Despite that, it is still believed that only 10 examples were struck, all of which are known and are among the rarest American coins. Due to their rarity and immediate desirability, some examples sold for as much as $400 right after production, and all known surviving examples are graded Proof-60 or higher. Auction records for the past five years reveal four sales that ranged from $336,000 for a PR-63 to $1.140 million for a PR-66.

Trade Dollar Design

Bedecked in a Doric chiton and tiara, Lady Liberty sits upon a throne of bales. Her head skirts the top of the obverse, and her left foot is bare. A sheaf of wheat rests behind her. In her right hand, which is extended to the rim of the coin, she holds an olive branch symbolizing peace. In her left hand, a scroll with the word LIBERTY is unfurled. Beneath the throne is a banner with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Of the 13 six-pointed stars wrapping around the top two-thirds of the rim, four are located between the base area and the olive branch, two are positioned between the olive branch and Liberty’s head, and seven from her head to the other corner of the base.

The eagle on the reverse is a cross between naturalistic and heraldic. Its wings are away from the body, its feathers pointing down. Its head is turned towards the right. The eagle grips three arrows in the left talon and an olive branch in the right. There are three berries, and the bottom arrowhead does not go past the zero in “420 Grains” on the reverse.

Immediately below the eagle is the weight and purity 420 GRAINS, 900 FINE. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arcs across the top half of the rim and TRADE DOLLAR is cradled at the bottom. Between UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the eagle’s head is a banner with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Like on the obverse, the entire design is encircled by dentils.

The Trade dollar has a reeded edge.

To search through GreatCollection’s archive of over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold over the past eight years, please visit the GreatCollections Auction Archives.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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