The Proof-only trade dollar of 1879 signaled the beginning of the end for the series. Produced almost exclusively for commerce in East Asia, trade dollars were struck in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Carson City from 1873 to 1878 and enjoyed limited legal tender status in America. By 1879, the United States Mint had transitioned to Morgan dollar production, and the trade dollar fell by the wayside for various reasons.
Speculation in Proof coinage was high in this era, and trade dollars in that format were made in large quantities in 1879 through 1883, at which time general Proof production was halted for the series. However, clandestine Proof trade dollars of 1884 and 1885 exist and are great rarities.
Featured in our Spring 2019 Baltimore Auction is a desirable example of the 1879 issue. Certified Proof-61 by PCGS, it displays significantly frosted devices and nicely reflective fields. This appealing Proof 1879 trade dollar (lot 12451) will be presented as part of the Missouri Gooseberry Collection in Internet Only Session 12, which will begin live bidding on March 5th at 9:00am PST.
Our Spring 2019 Baltimore Auction is now available for viewing and bidding on our website www.StacksBowers.com. To speak with a numismatic representative, please call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected]. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.