General Comments

1848 is a date in the Liberty Seated dollar series thatís in demand because of its relatively low mintage. We feel that itís been an underrated issue for many years. With a mintage ranking of 14th out of 46 the date is scarce, but not rare. It can be found with patient searching, but may be more difficult to locate than its pricing would indicate. Mint state examples are rare, but even lower grades are scarce. Problem-free low-grade examples, F12 or lower, are very rare.

In mint state grades 1848 is one of the rarest coins in the series. The finest known example is a single MS66 coin graded by PCGS. This coin grades a full two points above two examples that are tied for 2nd finest at MS64. PCGS has graded those two coins, plus 7 more in MS63, one of those graded MS63+. The highest graded at NGC are two MS63 examples. Both services combined have graded 35 mint state coins. Population statistics are as of January, 2019.

The finest known proof is a single PR67 graded by NGC, the Kaufman coin. They have graded one additional coin at the PR66 level, and five in PR64. The highest graded PCGS coin is PR63. A total of 16 coins have been graded proof by both services. Two of the 16 are lightly circulated. Several of these almost certainly represent re-submissions.

Mintage 15,000
Proof mintage 25-35 estimated
Mintage ranking 14th
Finest known MS66
Known obverse dies 2
Known reverse dies 2
Known die marriages 2
Most common die marriage OC-1/ R2
Rarest business strike die marriageOC-1/ R2
Rarest proof die marriage OC-P1 / R6+
1848 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. Most high-grade business strikes will be prooflike or semi-prooflike. Due to the low mintage the dies didnít wear enough to eliminate their prooflike appearance.

1848 Die Marriages

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 unique obverse die with the reverse die used for almost all original proofs minted through 1854. The following table summarizes the known die marriages for 1848:

Click the links below to view the details of the die marriages.

Die Marriage


Obverse Die

Reverse Die

Estimated Survivors

OC-1 R2 1 A 750
OC-P1 R6+ P1 1840 PA 18

OC-1 is the only known business strike die marriage. By Liberty Seated Dollar standards itís scarce, but not rare. We consider this one of the under-rated dates in the series. Most price guides put it just above common dates, but finding nice examples can be as challenging as the low mintage would indicate.

OC-P1 is the only known proof die marriage. Of the 18 or so estimated survivors 3 or 4 are mishandled or lightly circulated. The remainder vary from PR62 to PR67. The finest known is a PR67 example slabbed by NGC and pedigreed to the Phil Kaufman collection.

1848 Business Strike Emission Sequence

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

Emission Order

Die Marriage


1 OC-1

1848 Proof Emission Sequence

The proof emission sequence is equally simple.

Emission Order

Die Marriage


1 OC-P1

1848 Quick Finder Chart

With only two die marriages for the year attribution is very easy based on date position alone.

Die Marriage

Obv. Die

Rev. Die

Right Base
of 1

Keys to Identification

OC-1 1 A JR of C Obverse:   Right base of 1 is JR of C.
Reverse:   Die lines in upper corner of shield recess #1.
OC-P1 P1 1840 PA JR of LE Obverse:   Right base of 1 is JR of LE.
Reverse:   Defects inside upper triangle of A3.

Photo credits:

Obverse and reverse full photos:   NGC PR67, ex. Phil Kaufman, from the Heritage archives.

Copyright © 2015-2021, by Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, All rights reserved.