1873–1878 U.S. Silver Trade Dollar Fine-Very Fine

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The Short-Lived U.S. Silver Trade Dollar

During its heyday in the 1880s, the U.S. Morgan Silver Dollar saw widespread use in American commerce. But did you know it wasn’t the only U.S. silver dollar in circulation at the time? For just six years between 1873 and 1878, the U.S. Mint struck a special silver Trade Dollar. This coin was not meant to circulate here in the United States; but was intended for circulation overseas as a way to establish trade and compete with other major world coins.

Struck in 27.2 grams of 90% fine silver, the Trade Dollar was slightly heavier than a Morgan Dollar. It also featured an attractive design created by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver William Barber that depicted Liberty offering an olive branch across the sea while seated next to bales of wheat and other American traded goods. The reverse showed an American Bald Eagle, its wings spread, holding three arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left.

While most of these coins were sent to China and the Far East and circulated reasonably well, many made their way back home through American commercial channels. Once home, they never really caught on. Those coins that did return were often damaged by chop marks stamped into them by Chinese merchants after their weight and value were verified. They also proved to be a headache for consumers when used for commerce in America where they often traded for less than a dollar. The coins were officially demonetized in 1876 and circulation strikes were discontinued altogether in 1878 with only special Proof versions struck through 1885.

Most U.S. Silver Dollar collections have a Morgan, a Peace, and a Silver Eagle, but are sadly missing this important piece. Don’t let your collection stand incomplete – secure one or more while our limited supply lasts! Each comes in a collector grade of Fine-Very Fine condition suitable for display with your other silver dollars. Click one to your cart today! Dates will vary.

  • STRUCK FOR CIRCULATION OVERSEAS – The U.S. Trade dollar was struck from 1873 to 1878 and was intended for circulation overseas as a way to establish trade and compete with other major world coins.
  • STRUCK IN HIGHLY PURE SILVER – Each U.S. Trade Dollar was struck in 27.2 grams of 90% fine silver – about 1.8% heavier than a Morgan Silver Dollar.
  • LEGAL-TENDER COIN – These coins were $1 legal tender. They were demonetized in 1876, but continued to circulate in America, particularly in the West, where they were accepted for less than their one-dollar face value.
  • GRADED IN FINE-VERY FINE CONDITION – Your 1873-1878 U.S. Silver Trade Dollar will come in Fine-very Fine condition, suitable for display in any silver dollar collection. Dates will vary.

At more than 140 years old, these vintage coins are an important part of America’s history. Add the legacy of this fascinating coin to your collection now before our limited supply dries up!

Year of Issue 1878, 1877, 1876, 1875, 1874, 1873
Country United States
Composition Silver
Purity 0.9000
Denomination 1.00
Currency Type Dollar
Coin Weight 27.22 Grams - g
Dimensions 38.1mm