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Let's talk about PROOF 1853 silver dollars

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The PROOF silver dollars of the 1840's and early 1850's are generally classified as ORIGINALS and RESTRIKES, with the latter being the product of enterprising Mint personnel from the late 1850's to the 1860's.


There is much that can be debated about what diagnostics indicate a restrike. To me, the restrikes -- especially of the 1840's dated specimens -- all share a common reverse die as well as state. The restrikes of the 1851 and 1852 dollars were not of the same reverse die as the common one used for the 1840's dated specimens.


Now, we're onto 1853. As far as my memory goes, there is no U.S.-authorized 1853-dated proof striking. Thus, all proof 1853 silver specimens are generally considered "novodels", or fantasy pieces. So, we can assume that these were also coined by those same enterprising Mint personnel in the same unauthorized manner.


The known 1853 proof specimens do not share the same reverse die as the dollars (of other dates) supposedly struck in the late 1850's.


In the 1992 Stack's catalog of the Starr Sale, the cataloger writes that the Starr specimen has a reverse that is even different from the early 1860's surreptious strikings. Stack's called that specimen an ORIGINAL.


Huh? The numismatic world appears to be divided on this. Most catalogers believe that all 1853 proof dollars to be novodels, while Stack's thinks the Starr specimen is an ORIGINAL. Without a doubt, Stack's is a firm with a tremendous store of numismatic knowledge. Their catalogers have an immense amount of knowledge.


I sure would appreciate the serious numismatists here to help me sort through the issue of the 1853-dated silver-metal proof Seated Dollar.


Help me verify my facts; look at the Heritage Silverman, Bowers FUN '99 and the upcoming Superior (online) catalogs for more recent information on these rare birds. Help me figure out what's what with this befuddling issue...




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Stacks seems to have problems on coins with a 3 in the date, so who the heck knows! grin.gif





EVP - Do the 1853 novodels share one or more common obverse? It seems to be a matter of logic that if the 1853 proof coin that Stacks calls "original" shares an obverse with any other coin denoted a novodel, then it too is a novodel.


Interesting stuff. Thanks.



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Tom, et al,


I am troubled by this query of mine for a number of reasons, the two biggest being:


1. I am unable to do original, primary research. All I have is what I can glean from OTHER'S previous work, which I cannot verify.


2. The paragons of the numismatic world, on whom I must rely for my secondary data, disagree on many critical aspects of the early Seated dollar proofs. Maybe I can catalog the cataloged data... smile.gif




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