1844







General Comments

1844 is a desirable date in the Liberty Seated dollar series, not only because of its relatively low mintage but also because of its interesting obverse die, which is doubled and displays a misplaced 18 in the gown. Because of this very notable double variety we’ve made this one of our Top-30 varieties. With a mintage ranking 15th out of 47 the date is scarce. Mint state examples are rare, but lower grades can be easily located with patient searching.

The finest known business strike is a single MS65 coin slabbed by PCGS. Four additional coins have been graded MS64, three by PCGS and one by NGC. A total of 52 coins have been graded in all mint state grades. Population statistics are as of January, 2019.

Proof coins are notable rarities. The finest known proof is a single PR66 Cameo, the Eliasberg-Sweet coin, graded by NGC. NGC has graded one coin PR65, the Pittman-Kaufman coin. Five additional coins have been graded PR64, one by PCGS (PR64+) and four by NGC. Two of the NGC coins received a cameo designation. Eight coins have been graded at lower levels, the lowest a PR40. Population statistics are as of January, 2019.

1844 examples can be found with strikes that vary from fair to very sharp. They often display slight softness on the star centrals and/or the upper left-wing feathers. Examples have been seen with stars on the left obverse that are almost completely flat.





Mintage 20,000
Proof mintage 25 estimated
Mintage ranking 15th
Finest known MS65
PR66 Cameo
Known obverse dies 2
Known reverse dies 2
Known die marriages 2
Most common die marriage OC-1/ R2
Rarest business strike die marriage OC-1/ R2
Rarest proof die marriage OC-P1/ R6+
High-grade business strikes are usually prooflike or semi-prooflike. Due to the low mintage, the dies didn’t wear enough to eliminate their prooflike appearance.

Only 2 die marriages have been identified. A single pair of dies was used to strike all business strikes. Neither die was used for proofs. A single proof variety paired a different obverse die with the reverse die used for almost all original proofs issued from 1840 through 1854. Attribution of proofs is simple since their obverse die has neither the die doubling nor the misplaced digits that are characteristic of the business strikes.

1844 Die Marriages

The following table summarizes the known die marriages for 1844:

Click the links below to view the details of each die marriage.

Die Marriage
Rarity
Obverse Die
Reverse Die
Estimated Survivors
OC-1 R2 1 A 1000
OC-P1 R6+ P1 1840 PA 15


OC-1 is the only business strike die marriage. By Liberty Seated dollar standards, it’s scarce, but not rare. The dies are normally clashed, the clashing most visible in the field under Miss Liberty’s right arm. We’ve seen an example with perfect dies, but this die state seems to be extremely rare. OC-1 is an interesting die marriage. The obverse die is doubled. The horizontal shield lines appear as sets of 4 rather than 3, since the doubling was offset by almost exactly the width of a single line. As a result, it’s often called the “quad stripes” variety. The obverse also contains misplaced digits, 18 in the gown. It’s been listed as MPD-001. These features don’t increase the rarity, since they appear on all business strikes, but they have increased the interest in this date. We’ve included this variety as one of our Top-30.

OC-P1 is the only known proof die marriage. Of the 15 or so estimated survivors at least 4 are mishandled or lightly circulated. Three of these are in problem-free PCGS holders. The remainder are holdered as problem-free and vary from PR61 to PR66. The finest known is a PR66 Cameo example slabbed by NGC and pedigreed to the Eliasberg and Sweet collections.

Breen mentions a possible second obverse, Breen 5432, with triple (normal) stripes. We believe that any example with a normal, non-doubled obverse is a proof.

1844 Business Strike Emission Sequence

With only one business strike die marriage the emission sequence is simple.

Emission Order

Die Marriage

Comments

1 OC-1


1844 Business Strike Emission Sequence

The proof emission sequence is equally uninteresting.

Emission Order

Die Marriage

Comments

1 OC-P1


1844 Quick Finder Chart

The table below shows the characteristics that allow quick identification of the die marriages.

Die Marriage
Obv. Die
Rev. Die
Right Base of 1
1 Verticle
Grid
Keys to Identification
OC-1 1 A L QTR L 4-5.0 Obverse:   Low date, RB of 1 is L QTR. Doubled die. MPD
Reverse:   Heavy die lines above the eagle’s left wing.
OC-P1 P1 1840 PA R QTR H 5-2.0 Obverse:   High date, RB of 1 is R QTR. NO die doubling and NO MPD's
Reverse:   Defects on A3.


Photo credits:

Obverse and reverse full photos:   1844 PCGS PR64 CAC, ex. Gene Gardner, from the Heritage archives.


Copyright © 2015-2019, by Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, All rights reserved.