Ron Guth: Traditionally and in general, collectors save first-year type coins because of the novelty of the new designs. Thus many first-year type coins appear in unusually high quantities and in above-average grades because they we set aside and preserved. Such was not the case with the 1840 Seated Liberty Dollar. The explanation could be simple: perhaps collectors could not afford to set aside quantities of high-value dollar coins or the design may have been too similar to that of the Gobrecht Dollars issued from 1836-1839. Whatever the reason, collectors now face a challenge finding nice examples of this date. The 1840 Silver Dollar ranks in the rarest third of all dates in the series. Nonetheless, collectors should have no problem finding a circulated example of this date, but Mint State eamples may be hard to locate.
As of September 2011, PCGS had certified 276 1840 Silver Dollars in all grades, including 28 Mint State examples. Virtually all Mint State 1840 Silver Dollars fall into the MS-62 and MS-63 grade levels, with three MS-64 examples being the finest that PCGS had certified.