The Rudolf specimen. Lovely and original, the surfaces are near perfect. Light golden toning completes the picture.
Q. David Bowers: The following narrative, with minor editing, is from my "Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia" (Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc., 1993).
The year 1846 was an average one in the annals of circulation strike silver dollar production.
The Assay Commission found that Philadelphia Mint silver (of all denominations, as a class) coined this year was .9013 fine, significantly above the statutory .900 (but still within the legal variation of .897 to .903), a very rare situation (see also 1846-O).
During the first six months of 1847, deposits of silver at all the mints amounted to $8,906,544.21, a greater amount than in any other entire year, with the exception of 1843. (The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1848, Boston, James Munroe & Co., 1847, pp. 114-115.)
Circulated grades: In circulated grades the 1846 is one of the more available silver dollars of the 1840s, as its high mintage would indicate.
Mint State grades: Echoing the situation of 1843, the 1846 dollar is common in worn grades but is rare in Mint State, and is exceedingly rare in grades of MS-64 or higher. In 1982, Bruce Amspacher suggested that a really nice Uncirculated coin turned up at the rate of one coin every five to 10 years. (Article, "Liberty Seated Dollars," in the Monthly Summary, Coin Dealer Newsletter, July-August, 1982.)
1-6. Normal Date: Breen-5435. At least six minor obverse varieties are known, all having slightly different positional relationships to the base of Liberty and denticles. Some have repunching at 18.
Circulation strike mintage: 110,600; Delivery figures by month: June: 73,000; July: 28,000; November: 9,600.
Estimated quantity melted: Unknown
Characteristics of striking: Usually very well struck and very pleasing in appearance.
Known hoards of Mint State coins: None
The 1846 dollar, plentiful in worn grades, is seldom seen in Mint State.
Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:2212 - Heritage 3/2014:10465, $11,162.50
"Colonel" E.H.R. Green - Green Estate - Partnership of Eric P. Newman & B.G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.) - Eric P. Newman, who paid $10.00 - Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Heritage 11/2013:33516, $105,750