Valuable $1 coins are part of the country’s history. Usually, the most expensive ones are those that were issued between 1794 and 1935. However, its price is affected by several factors important to collectors. For that reason, we show you everything you need to know before selling old United States coins.
Table of Content
- United States Silver Coins
- Gold coins of 1 dollar
- Factors Affecting the Value of $1 Coins
United States silver coins
Silver dollar coins are the most popular and have been produced the most by the US Mint. These are highly sought after for their versatility, as they have historical precedents and intrinsic value as they are made of the precious metal.
|Valuable $1 Silver Coins and Their Value According to Condition|
|coin name||Average circulation price||price without circulation|
|Flowing Hair – 1794-1795||$1,000 – $25,000||Strange|
|Draped Bust (Small Eagle) – 1795-1798||$500 – $1,500||$15,000 – $20,000|
|Heraldic Eagle – 1798-1803||$500 – $1,000||$6,000 – $8,000|
|Heraldic Eagle – 1804||N/A||$3,000,000|
|Gobrecht – 1836-1839||$3,000 – $5,000||$8,000 – $10,000|
|Liberty Seated – 1840-1873||$150 – $500||$1,000 – $1,500|
|Trade-1873-1885||$50 – $300||$400 – $1,000|
|Morgan – 1878-1921||$15 – $20||$24 – $70|
|Peace–1921-1935||$15 – $19||$20 – $50|
|Eisenhower–1971-1978||Silver weight value||$1.25 – $2|
|Susan B. Anthony – 1979-1981,1999||Silver weight value||Silver weight value|
|Sacagawea – 2000-Present||Silver weight value||Silver weight value|
|Presidential – 2007-2016||Silver weight value||Silver weight value|
A Guide Book of United States Coins could be a great start to determining the price of your coins, but there are other valuable books on the market.
The Flowing Hair $1 silver coin was only minted in the years 1794 and 1795. And despite its brevity, it remains one of the most sought after collectibles among collectors. The importance of this coin is not only due to its rarity, but is also closely linked to the birth of the country and the production of coins.
As you can see above, some pieces have two leaves under each of the eagle’s wings, while others have three, but both have the same availability and rarity. On the other hand, the points where they tend to show more use can be seen on the cheeks, on the shoulders and in the hair above the forehead and under the word “Liberty”, as well as on the chest, the head and the tips of the fingers. eagle wings.
Draped Bust (Little Eagle)
The Draped Bust coin was conceived between 1795 and 1798. This is a short series, but it comes in over 12 varieties. Some of these distinctions can be seen in the size of the date and the engraved inscriptions, but most of them are in the number of stars seen on the obverse.
During the first two years, it had 15 stars, which represented the number of states that belonged to the Union at that time. With the admission of Tennessee, the number increased to 16 in 1797 and returned to the original 15 in 1798. Later they became 13, a number that represents the original colonies.
The issue of Draped Bust dollar coins was limited to about 450,000 in the 4 years combined and nearly three-quarters of this number is from 1798. According to Walter Breen’s estimates, only 3% of these batches survived.
The rarest variety is the 1797 dollar with 9 stars to the left of the word “Liberty” in small letters and 7 stars to the right. Barely 7,776 of these were produced and it is understandable because these represented the daily payment of some Americans at the time.
Officially, there are no uncirculated coins from this series, but some pieces come pretty close. The points to focus on to see the wear are the hair under the word Liberty and the crest on the eagle’s chest, as you can see in the image above.
Draped Bust (Heraldic Eagle)
This series is the second silver ever created and its production was maintained between 1798 and 1804. And although this coin is not collected as hotly as the previous one, it is still one of the varieties preferred by specialists. Coins with XF conditions or higher are sought after by collectors based on date and condition.
However, getting this coin in good condition can be challenging. Some varieties are faint in the area of the stars, just above the eagle’s head. Other varieties show areas of weakness from metal corrosion. In the higher grades, it can be seen that signs of friction can be found in Miss Liberty’s hair and along her shoulders.
On the reverse, the wear is seen primarily on the clouds and then on the eagle’s feathers. Weaker or irregular pieces may not show these signs. In fact, counterfeiters created a number of pieces dated 1799 in the early 1980s. These coins have similar characteristics, but show surfaces without life or use. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you get a second opinion on these types of coins.
This coin was produced between 1835 and 1839. The Gobrecht dollar was minted at the Philadelphia Mint and all have counterfeit-proof surface finishes that prevented the creation of duplicates. This is a unique phenomenon in the numismatic world because it guarantees security – in fact, a forged piece is still unknown.
The design is just beginning to show friction on the image’s knees and chest, as well as the eagle’s chest on the reverse. Here is an image that shows it more clearly.
Gobrecht dollar coins are actively sought after by type and date collectors. In the first case, they look for the 1836 issues that have been re-engraved with names on the base and back of stars. In the case of date collectors, the years of 1836, 1838 and 1839 are sought, but few achieve a complete set with these coins.
Liberty sitting without motto
This coin was produced between 1840 and 1866, showing a small mintage by today’s Federal Reserve standards, as only nearly 3 million coins were issued in the entire series. However, at the time it was considered a large number, so it was divided as follows:
- Philadelphia Mint (unmarked): From 1840 to 1865
- New Orleans: Dates 1846, 1850, 1859 and 1860
- San Francisco: 1859
These large silver coins showed some slightly different characteristics. For example, the position of Lady Liberty’s head might have poor detail (even in the most pristine pieces), just as the eagle’s leg feathers and talons might show evidence of weakness.
As you can see in the image above, wear and tear usually appears first on Libertad’s legs, right chest, and top of her head. This is followed by the wings of the eagle. Also, due to their size and weight, non-circulating coins stored in bags will show contact marks.
Another visible aspect will be the careless handling of the first owners, who did not know about numismatics, as well as evidence of cleaning by the old collectors, who used to carry out these practices.
The currency known as the “Trade Dollar” was minted from 1873 to 1885, just after the American Civil War. For this version, fewer than 36 million pieces were created during its 13-year lifetime. Production took place at the Philadelphia Mint, Carson City, and San Francisco.
Probably the rarest series is the 1878-CC, in which only 97,000 pieces were created, many of which were melted down for use as silver metal. Indeed, higher grade units are rare or non-existent, attracting high demand from type collectors.
If you’re looking for evidence of wear, the first thing to check is Miss Liberty’s ear and her left knee. On the reverse, you can also see that the eagle’s head and left wing show more signs of wear than the rest of the piece.
The Morgan dollar was in effect from 1878 to 1921 and its name comes from the talented designer who was in charge of its minting. The obverse of the coin features Miss Liberty, while the reverse features an eagle.
More than 500 million coins were issued during its validity, from the houses of Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and Carson City -the latter had a very low production compared to the rest.
However, after the 1960s, many people perceived that the value of the metal was greater than the coin, so they began to melt them down for profit. This caused a reduction in their population to a point where there were only 2.9 million pieces left in bank vaults. As a result, the government had to stop its minting.
As you can see in the image above, almost always the first place to wear is the hair just above the eye, as well as the ear. On the back, it is also possible to perceive the use on the top of the eagle’s head and on the animal’s chest. These details are important to correctly value the piece in question.
The Peace Dollar is so named to help raise public awareness of the effects of war after the events of World War I. Additionally, there was a widespread feeling in the population that a way to commemorate the restoration of peace was required.
This piece was largely ignored by collectors until the 1960s, when silver certificates and the publicity surrounding treasury sales sparked interest in silver coins. In this sense, collectors began to put together collections based on the date and place of minting, adding 24 different pieces that do not have a great rarity.
This coin usually shows wear marks on the face and neck, as well as on the hair above the ear and on the forehead of the image of Miss Liberty. On the reverse, wear can usually be found on the eagle’s wings, legs, and head. Above you can see an example of this in more detail.
1 dollar gold coins
Produced from 1849 to 1889, the lowest denomination of gold produced in the history of the US Mint is the $1 coin. Throughout its minting, the gold coin with this value was produced in three types, but all of them are similar. Next, we show you each of them.
|Valuable $1 Gold Coins and Their Value According to Condition|
|coin name||Average circulation price||price without circulation||Diameter|
|Type 1 – 1849-1854||$120 – $200||$350 – $700||13mm|
|Type 2 – 1854-1856||$300 – $475||$500 – $1,000||15mm|
|Type 3 – 1856-1889||$140 – $225||$380 – $725||15mm|
1 dollar gold coin – Type 1
The first gold dollar coins were small, measuring about half an inch in diameter (1.6 cm). Thanks to the high levels of gold mining that were obtained in California, a substantial collection could be made and much larger than any other gold coin minted by the US Mint.
Between 1849 and 1852, gold certificate dollars were produced at mints in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco, as well as Dahlonega in Georgia and Charlotte in North Carolina. However, Philadelphia was where he based the most production.
The 1 dollar gold coin sets can be easily collected. However, it is a bit more difficult for collectors of dates and places of mintage, mainly because of the scarcity and rarity of these coins. Next, we show you all the existing versions.
- 1849 Open Wreath (#7502)
- 1849 Closed Wreath (#7503)
- 1849-C Open Wreath (#7506)
- 1849 Not L (#7501)
- 849-C Closed Wreath (#7505)
- 1849-D (#7507)
- 1849-O (#7508)
- 1850 (#7509)
- 1850-C (#7510)
- 1850-D (#7511)
- 1850-O (#7512)
- 1851 (#7513)
- 1851-C (#7514)
- 1851-D (#7515)
- 1851-O (#7516)
- 1852 (#7517)
- 1852-C (#7518)
- 1852-D (#7519)
- 1852-O (#7520)
- 1853 (#7521)
- 1853-C (#7522)
- 1853-D (#7523)
- 1853-O (#7524)
- 1854 Type 1 (#7525)
- 1854-D (#7526)
- 1854-S (#7527)
1 dollar gold coin – Type 2
The revision of the $1 gold coin in 1854 coincides with the issuance of the $3 piece, as both were designed by James Barton Longacre.
On the obverse of this coin, you can see the image of Miss Liberty, whose head is smaller than the type 1. However, she looks the same size because of the indigenous hair. On the other side, you can see an exact copy of the penny with a flying eagle and it was used on the $3 coin.
This type of coin suffers from poor impressions and weakness in the highest points of the relief, the date and the two “l” of the word dollar. For this very reason, there are high demands from collectors looking to complete a set in the best possible condition. In fact, only about 6 specimens with numerology greater than MS-67 have been found.
Next, you will be able to find all the versions that were issued of this coin.
- 1854 Type 2 (#7531)
- 1855 (#7532)
- 1855-C (#7533)
- 1855-D (#7534)
- 1855-O (#7535)
- 1856-S (#7536)
1 dollar gold coin – Type 3
Following the unsatisfactory results of the Type 2 $1 gold coin, modifications to the design deemed necessary were made. Initially, Miss Liberty’s head was enlarged and her hair was arranged differently, changing her position to a more horizontal plane.
The purpose of the changes was to minimize the number of places it would wear, allowing the metal to be more symmetrical. Generally speaking, these changes were successful, although the quality control of some minting houses was quite poor, such as that of Dahlonega.
In the years of 1856 and 1863, the coins were massively minted. However, there are other years where production was much lower, such as in 1875, when only 400 copies were issued. The rarest and most desirable dates in this series are 1856-D and 1861-D, which are especially rare and difficult to find in uncirculated condition.
Factors Affecting the Value of $1 Coins
Throughout the history of United States banknotes and coins, there have been multiple valuable $1 coins. And although there are some gold, most of them are usually silver. In addition, all of them have a historical value, as well as a unique design attributed to a limited production. In this sense, coin collectors consider that they may have a greater value than what their face indicates. Let’s look at some of these aspects.
Age of one dollar coins
Many people consider seniority to be very important. And although they are right, the truth is that it is not the only factor that determines its value. For example, if we think of an 1880 American silver dollar, it is over 130 years old and would be less valuable than an ancient Roman coin that is about 2,000 years old.
But in most cases, this does not happen. The American silver dollar costs about $40, while an ancient Roman coin in decent condition costs about $30. Doing the calculation, the first has more value than the oldest, even though it is more than 15 times the age of the first.
Rarity makes coins valuable
Another factor that contributes to the value of the coin is the rarity. But how is it determined? You can see the date and place the coin was made. Many American coins have a mintage mark, which are small letters on the coin that will tell you the exact series it was made in.
Once you have the symbol and denomination of the US dollar, as well as its date and mint mark, you can determine its rarity by researching how many coins were minted. You will recognize it because it says the word “mintage” or coinage. This has a maximum limit and tells you the number of coins that were produced. The less there is, the more valuable and expensive it will be.
NOTE: Gold and silver coin mintage numbers may not be accurate for the years 1979 and 1980 or between 2008 and 2012.
The condition of dollar coins is important
The state of conservation is another factor that determines the value of the coin. Coins that have a grade ranging from 1 to 70, with 1 being a very poor condition where the coin is hardly recognized and 70 being a perfect coin.
Numbers between 1 and 58 are reserved for coins that wear to the human eye. Numbers between 60 and 70 are for coins that show no visible wear, but may have some markings. Next, we show you a chart that illustrates this model more easily.
|Coin grades according to their condition|
|MS||Mint State or state of minting||60-70, sequentially|
|AU||About Uncirculated or almost uncirculated||50, 53, 55, 58|
|XF||Extremely Fine or in extremely good condition||40, 45|
|FV||Very Fine or very good condition||20, 25, 30, 35|
|F||Fine or in good condition||12, 15|
|GV||very good||8, 10|
|FA||Fair or in fair condition||two|
|PR||Poor or in a poor state||1|
Offer and demand
Perhaps, this is the most important factor. As long as there is more supply than demand for the coin, the price will be low. The same thing happens the other way around. If there are few coins and many people want them, the price will increase.
Supply is normally determined by production and certified population numbers that are published. The demand is measured by the number of messages that ask to buy in the networks where transactions are made with these currencies. When it comes to very expensive coins, prices are obtained at auctions.
It is important to note that the supply and demand factor can be a regional phenomenon. For example, there may be more currencies on the East Coast than on the West Coast and this variable must be considered in the transaction.
Some coins are made with precious metals and some are not. If a coin contains precious metals, the value of the metal will always be taken into account, this being the minimum possible value. This is called the intrinsic value of the coin and it happens a lot with gold, silver, platinum or palladium coins.