Most of the 1872-S mintage was held at the San Francisco mint and either released at a later time or melted after
April, 1873 (reference 4). Some may also have been exported to the orient. When these factors are combined with
the incredibly low mintage we see why 1872-S is a key date in the Liberty Seated Dollar series, though its price
in lower grades puts it within the reach of most collectors. A mintage ranking of 11th out of 47 doesnít seem too
challenging, but itís mintage of 9,000 would make it at least a key, at most a stopper, in almost any other series.
Estimates of the rarity and availability of the date have varied widely. Our opinion is that 1872-S dollars are
rare, but possibly a little more available than their mintage would indicate. We suspect that most of the mintage
reached circulation, a situation much different from most Seated Dollars.
Nice problem-free examples can be located, but patient searching is required. Lower grade examples, VF or less,
can be found without too much trouble, making this date a little different than most of the other rare dates in
the series, and confirming Dave Bowers' opinion that much of the mintage was probably released for circulation.
San Francisco coins seem to have circulated more than their Philadelphia counterparts.
|Mintage ||9,000 |
|Proof mintage ||None |
|Mintage ranking ||11th |
|Finest known ||MS64 |
|Known obverse dies ||1 |
|Known reverse dies ||1 |
|Known die marriages ||1 |
|Most common die marriage ||OC-1/ R3- |
|Rarest business strike die marriage ||OC-1/ R3- |