Monday, April 30, 2012

Trade Dollar (1873 - 1885)


The Trade Dollar was designed by William Barber in 1873 and it was issued for circulation in the Orient to compete with other dollar-sized coins of other countries. It was intended for export only. In the United States though, they circulated as legal tenders until 1876 when the Congress withdrew them. Many pieces that circulated overseas were counterstamped with Oriental characters, known as chop marks. The production of dollars continued until 1878, and after that only tokens were issued for proof sets until 1885. IN 1887, the Treasury redeemed all Trade dollars that were not mutilated. On the obverse, the Trade dollars depicts Miss Liberty facing left and looking towards the seashore, sitting on a cotton bale and holding an olive branch in her right hand. To her back stands a sheaf of wheat. In her left hand, Liberty is holding a ribbon or scroll with the word LIBERTY on it. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is placed toward the bottom of the obverse, just above the date. Liberty is surrounded by 13 stars. On the reverse, a majestic eagle is holding an olive branch and arrows in its claws. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above on a ribbon, while the inscription 420 GRAINS, 900 FINE is below, just above the denomination. The mintmark is located on the reverse above the D in DOLLAR. The rarest of Trade Dollars are those dated 1884 and 1885. Issued only as Proofs and in small quantities, the existence of these coins was not revealed until 1908. However, all Trade Dollars are considered rare in high grades and the ones available are usually at high premiums.

Along the years of production, the Trade Dollar underwent some changes definitely worth mentioning. For the obverse, Trade dollars of 1873 through 1876 had the scroll point with LIBERTY ending to the left and Liberty's extended hand displaying only three fingers. Then, from 1876 till 1885, the scroll point ended downward and Liberty's extended hand showed four fingers. For the reverse, from 1873 until 1874 and occasionally in 1875 and 1876, there was a berry under the eagle's left talon and one of the arrowheads ended over 0. Then, occasionally on coins dating 1875 and 1876 and on all coins from 1877 until 1885, the reverse had no extra berry under the eagle's talon and one of the arrowheads ended over 2.

The Executive Coin Company is one of the top coin dealers in United States who offers a variety of Trade Dollars in different grades and condition, certified and graded by PCGS. Our selection includes early date dollars with or without chop marks. All Trade dollars we display are expertly photographed with great care and accuracy to help you make the best choice for your unique collection! Check out our online selection below.