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Trivia Question (Seated Dollars)

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Ok, my last trivia question about Seated Dollars didn't inspire much interest. Perhaps this will languish just the same...


The 1856 dollar is one of the rarest Seated Dollars to find in true UNC. Perhaps just a smidge more than a baker's dozen are extant in this lofty state of grace from circulation...


Normally, this date comes weakly struck (at the head and the nearby stars) in business strike format. Some, however, are well struck. What is a reasonable diagnostic to check to distinguish it from a proof striking?


Hint: there is a mis-interpretation of this diagnostic, and this has lead to a mythology within this series.


BTW, the absence of this diagnostic does not mean the coin is a proof. Rather, the appearance of this conclusively indicates the coin to be of a regular striking.




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Here's the "myth" that you refer to:


Writing in 1988, Breen acknowledged the existence of an 1856/4 overdate Seated Dollar. This variety, described as "extremely rare" by the author, has the following characteristic: "Plain straight line (crossbar of 4) within 6." In the July 1995 issue of The Gobrecht Journal, Carl Ingraffia published an article entitled "The 1856/4 Seated Dollar: Fact or Myth." Ingraffia pictured the date area of an 1856/4 Seated Dollar and gave some diagnostics of this variety. It would appear that Breen's use of the term "crossbar" is erroneous, and what is really evident is a diagonal segment within the upper loop of the 6.

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Educated research -- I found a Heritage auction listing and pulled that right out of the listing. Think it was an MS-61 piece that had the write-up. Many mentioned the before-mentioned weakness of strike, but this was the only MS piece listed with something that stuck out.

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