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What Were the Odds? A Rare 1862 Seated Liberty Dollar in Mint State

What Were the Odds? A Rare 1862 Seated Liberty Dollar in Mint State

By Greg Shishmanian …..

Last year a friend who’s been a coin dealer since the late 1970s shared a story about a shop he visited many years ago named Louisville Numismatic Exchange. He purchased some coins from the owner Bryd Saylor and about a week later he received a nice thank you note. He remembered this kind gesture since it was the only one he has ever received from a coin dealer.

A few months ago, we were in Louisville, Kentucky, and decided to visit the shop. They had many cases filled with beautiful jewelry, which piqued my wife’s interest. In the far corner, I spotted two cases of coins. On each case, a button activates a motor that slowly rotates the trays of coins. Eventually, a single tray with 10 Liberty Seated dollars came into view. Regrettably, all 10 were circulated common dates with several showing some degree of cleaning.

The shop was busy, but after a few minutes, a salesman asked if he could help us. After sharing my friend’s story about his experience at this shop, he explained that his grandfather had opened the business in 1959 and then passed it to his son, who passed it to him. I was delighted to have the opportunity to engage with Bryd the owner.

Instinctively, as a Seated dollar collector, I asked if he had any certified Seated dollars. He replied, I don’t think so, but let me check in the back. Several minutes later he returned holding one NGC holder.

Surely it would be a common date, perhaps an 1860-O or an 1872. When he handed me a naturally toned 1862 in rare and fully original Choice Mint State preservation, I was speechless. This legendary Civil War date was perfect for and would serve as a highlight in my collection.

Imagine, what were the odds of his one certified seated dollar being a Choice Mint-State 1862? After a brief inspection, I asked the price.

He responded with a reasonable price and the purchase was made.

My wife picked out two items that we purchased and before leaving we thanked Bryd for his service.

As we were driving away I could hardly wait to share this incredible find with my wife. She sensed my excitement but after a quick look, it was obvious that she did not experience the adrenalin rush that I felt.

As soon as we arrived at our destination I pulled the coin from my pocket and carefully examined it to confirm my previous analysis.

The initial high was replaced by sheer delight with my new purchase.

About a week later we received a nice thank you note and two masks from Bryd.

This coin was added to a CAC submission where it was approved and received a green bean. Then it was sent to PCGS where it crossed at grade. Finally, a second trip to CAC was required to get it re-stickered before adding it to my collection.

Personally, the thrill of finding and acquiring coins for my collection is a large part of what makes this hobby so rewarding and enjoyable.

The previous owner’s name, the date, and the location of the transaction will be documented in my pedigree spreadsheet that serves as a permanent reminder of this and many other wonderful experiences in the hobby.

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Greg Shishmanian
Greg Shishmanian
Numismatics has been one of Greg’s passions since he was a young boy. He has studied the Liberty Seated Dollar series for over 30 years and his opinions are valued by many numismatists. Greg is a long-time member of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC) and has published numismatic articles in the Gobrecht Journal, CoinWeek, Coin World, Numismatic News, and The Coin Dealer Newsletter. He strives to be a trusted source of information and provide honest advice and opinions.

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  1. I know how you feel i used to go to a coin dealer in Pa who allways had a greatset of bu coins and back then I was buying them for ten bucks and next i bought five gsa silver morgans for my collection but through the boxes away i know dumb but it happened and I also paid ten bucks each for them in mint state one has turned into a rainbow I love it and as of late i Jumped on the 20 21 and 22 morgans and peace dollars but now comes the hard part finding a cc and an o solver doller that will keep me happy untill spring thanks for your story I love to hear when people have such great luck when I first started out I sold a 1942 copper penney to a coin dealer in sparta nj for 800 bucks not knowing any better but live and learn

  2. My pleasure Tim, the positive feedback I’ve received from numismatists of all levels is most rewarding. I’m grateful to the editor Charles Morgan and his staff, they do a great job and have been a pleasure to work with.


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