1846-O $1 (Regular Strike)

Series: Liberty Seated Dollars 1840-1873

PCGS MS64+

PCGS MS64+

View More Images

PCGS MS64

PCGS MS64

PCGS MS64

PCGS MS64

PCGS #:
6933
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Edge:
Reeded
Diameter:
38.10 millimeters
Weight:
26.73 grams
Mintage:
59,000
Mint:
New Orleans
Metal:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 1,900 R-4.6 19 / 30 TIE 29 / 45 TIE
60 or Better 45 R-8.6 8 / 30 TIE 14 / 45 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 30 1 / 45
Survival Estimate
All Grades 1,900
60 or Better 45
65 or Better
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-4.6
60 or Better R-8.6
65 or Better R-10.1
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 19 / 30 TIE
60 or Better 8 / 30 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 30
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 29 / 45 TIE
60 or Better 14 / 45 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 45

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS64+ PCGS grade  
	MS64 PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2015:4169, $70,501 - Legend Collection - Bruce Morelan Collection - D.L. Hansen Collection

2 MS64 PCGS grade

Heritage 10/2015:3378, not sold

2 MS64 PCGS grade MS64 PCGS grade

Linnemann Family Collection - Stack's/Bowers 6/2013:2027, $44,062.50 - Heritage 11/2014:3800, $35,308.75 - Mesquite Collection (cat-matched) - Heritage 4/2017:4101, $37,600 - Heritage 8/2017:4027, $35,250 - D.L. Hansen Collection

4 MS63+ PCGS grade

Goldbergs 2/2006:1709, $18,400 - Heritage 7/2006:2651, $25,300 - OBrien Collection

5 MS63 PCGS grade

John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904 - John M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:2213, $46,200

5 MS63 PCGS grade
5 MS63 PCGS grade
5 MS63 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 8/2016:3168, $18,800 - Stiel Collection

5 MS63 PCGS grade
5 MS63 PCGS grade
 
	MS64 PCGS grade 
#1 MS64+ PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2015:4169, $70,501 - Legend Collection - Bruce Morelan Collection - D.L. Hansen Collection

#2 MS64 PCGS grade

Heritage 10/2015:3378, not sold

MS64 PCGS grade #2 MS64 PCGS grade

Linnemann Family Collection - Stack's/Bowers 6/2013:2027, $44,062.50 - Heritage 11/2014:3800, $35,308.75 - Mesquite Collection (cat-matched) - Heritage 4/2017:4101, $37,600 - Heritage 8/2017:4027, $35,250 - D.L. Hansen Collection

#4 MS63+ PCGS grade

Goldbergs 2/2006:1709, $18,400 - Heritage 7/2006:2651, $25,300 - OBrien Collection

#5 MS63 PCGS grade

John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904 - John M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:2213, $46,200

#5 MS63 PCGS grade
#5 MS63 PCGS grade
#5 MS63 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 8/2016:3168, $18,800 - Stiel Collection

#5 MS63 PCGS grade
#5 MS63 PCGS grade
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).

Coinage Context

New Orleans issue: After construction commencing in 1835 and the setting up of equipment in 1837, the New Orleans Mint opened for business in 1838. However, it struck no silver dollars until 1846. This was the first of only four dates of Liberty Seated dollars from this mint: 1846-O, 1850-O, 1859-O, and 1860-O.

Although some 1846-O dollars may have been exported, and most likely many were melted, many also circulated within the confines of the United States, probably in the Mississippi Valley.

The Assay Commission found that silver coins (of all denominations, taken as a class) from the New Orleans Mint produced in 1846 assayed a remarkably high. 9011 fine, which was above the legal standard (but still within the legal tolerance of .987 to .903); This was far out of the range of normal variation from the .900 standard, as reflected in Assay Commission reports.

Numismatic Information

Circulated grades: The 1846-O has always been relatively easy to find in circulated grades below Extremely Fine (but EF or better pieces are quite rare). I suspect that this issue circulated widely and saw use in the channels of commerce up and down the Mississippi River Valley, especially riverboats (which numbered in the hundreds) and casinos. Relatively few must have been melted or exported. As the first branch mint silver dollar and as an issue of the New Orleans Mint, the 1846-O has always occupied a place of affection in collectors' hearts.

Mint State grades: In Mint State the 1846-O is very rare; just how rare is not known with certainty. Some of the specimens seen by me have been so deeply toned that it is impossible for anyone (including a certification service) to determine, for example, whether they are AU-58 or Mint State. Notwithstanding this, a top grade 1846-O is an object of desirability. In MS-63 or better grade it is a prime rarity.

Varieties

Business strikes: Breen-5437:
1. Obverse: Normal. Reverse: With heavy O mintmark.
2. Obverse: Normal. Reverse: With "normal" O mintmark.
3. Obverse: Normal. Reverse: With very weak and thin O mintmark.

Business strike mintage: 59,000; Delivery figures by month: June: 59,000.

Estimated quantity melted: Unknown

Characteristics of striking: Average strike, often showing weakness, particularly on the eagle's head and claws; stars at the right side of the obverse are often weak.

Known hoards of Mint State coins: None

Commentary

This was the first branch mint Liberty Seated dollar and one of just four dates coined from the New Orleans Mint (the others: 1850-O, 1859-O, and 1860-O).

Additional Information

What Might Have Been

What might have been but wasn't is an appropriate comment on the shipment of four pairs of dies from Philadelphia to New Orleans for use in coining 1847-O dollars, but no such coins were ever made. Four more pairs were shipped from Philadelphia to New Orleans for making 1848-O dollars, but these too never materialized.

The Treasury also intended that 1849-O dollars be made, and one obverse die bearing that date was shipped to New Orleans, to be mated with one or more reverses left over from earlier times. However, no 1849-O dollars were made. As it turned out, 1849 was a year for silver rarities at the New Orleans Mint, and collectors today recognize the half dime, dime, and quarter of the 1849 issue as elusive.