|Stack's Bowers||Auction||The March 2012 Baltimore Auction||Mar-2012||1865 Liberty Seated Silver Dollar. MS-64 (NGC). Stark white with abundant eye appeal for the frosted devices and slightly reflective fields. This is clearly a business strike as the 6 has the die line through the ball that is seen on all issued for circulation, and the strike has moderate softness on the upper obverse including the stars, as well as on the eagle's thigh and talons. Exceptionally clean surfaces for a silver dollar, as these are usually found with rather heavy bagmarks from handling and shipping. Mintage of 46,500 pieces, and this is one of the technically finer examples to survive.
Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers
Back in the 1970s and 1980s I spent quite a bit of time studying circulation strike coins and trying to figure out why some were rare and some were not. Among Liberty Seated dollars I learned from Mint records as well as financial publications the true story of why issues after 1850 were rare. I wasn’t the first person to come up with the general idea, but was probably the first to have a lot of specifics, much of which was published in 1993 in my two-volume set, Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia. In brief, by 1850 gold had become “common” in relation to its proportion to silver, what with the California Gold Rush and the vast discoveries in Australia. The price of silver rose on international markets to the point at which it cost more than face value to produce American coins from the half dime to the dollar. They disappeared from circulation and went into the hands of hoarders and speculators, some of whom melted them. The Coinage Act of February 21, 1853, reduced the authorized weight of silver coins from the half dime to the half dollar, but did nothing for the dollar. To produce a silver dollar it cost more than face value. I found this illogical and wondered why. Then with some reading I found that silver dollars wer