Estimated grade. Sold by B. Max Mehl Jun '41 price realized $75
P. Scott Rubin: The 1858 Silver Dollar is a Proof only issue. Not only were there no regular issue silver dollars issued in 1858 there is no official number of Proof coins struck in that year. Walter Breen believed that the Chapman brothers are responsible for the belief that eighty Proof Silver Dollars were struck in 1858. Breen speculates that they learned this number from friendly Mint employees.
1858 is an interesting year in numismatics; this was the year George Cogan held his first auction, the first coin dealer to sell coins to the public by auction. This was the first year that Half Cents and Large Cents were no longer produced by the Mint.
Anyone trying to complete a date set of U.S. coinage needed the 1858 Proof Silver Dollar to complete the denomination. Since 1840 when Silver Dollars production was resumed at the Mint until 1857 collectors where able to get circulation strikes fairly easily. Only the years 1851 and 1852 were hard to acquire since they were produced in low numbers.
It is believed that 1858 was the year that some Mint employees realized that collectors were asking for dates that were not available. This may have been started by the demand for the Proof only 1858 Silver Dollar. By October, 1859 Cogan offered at public auction an 1858 Proof Set which sold for $5.50. Since 1859 to date, the 1858 Silver Dollar has been available in small numbers annually at auction.
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