1877-s Trade Dollar - Is it the genuine article?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by LostInTime, Jan 11, 2019.


Is this a genuine Trade Dollar?

  1. Yes

  2. No (explain why below please)

    0 vote(s)
  3. Possibly (have it authenticated)

  1. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    Hello, I've been a collector, off and on, for 30 years now. Recently I acquired some coins from my grandfather from a collection that had belonged to his father. These coins were not purchased, but were acquired during the depression. My great-grandfather owned a small grocery store in Milwaukee (which he ultimately lost) during the 20's and 30's. People would bring all kinds of oddities in looking to trade for supplies, and he would put coins of interest aside. Some pieces are pretty interesting (including an old Kushan I can't quite naildown, c.125 ad ?) but nothing news worthy.

    However, there is an 1877-s trade dollar in the collection. I've looked into it a bit and the coin has the correct obverse and reverse dies (type 2). It isn't claiming to be anything rare or special e.g. CC mm. It's surface looks good with no raised bumps/dots anywhere that might indicate casting. It's fairly worn though, based on the images found at PCGS:


    I would grade this a VG08. The reason I'm posting this is to get some advice on whether or not to send to TPG for authentication. It's been in my family for roughly 90 years (just sitting in a box).

    What do you guys think...real or fake? If you think it's fake please explain why. If it's likely the genuine article, should it be authenticated, as I'm not planning on selling, just passing it down to my son. No big deal really, if it's a fake I'll just add it to the counterfeit collection along with the Henning etc...

    Thanks in advance for your comments... c4-1.jpg c5-1.jpg c2-1.jpg c3-1.jpg
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  4. 1916D10C

    1916D10C Key Date Mercs are Life! 1916-D/1921-D/1921

    It looks real to me.

    Avoid touching the surface of a coin with your bare fingertips- unless you want fingerprints to appear on the coin's surface. Coins must always be gripped by their edge or handled with cotton gloves.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  5. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    I'm not too worried about lightly handling such a heavily worn and circulated coin. I like to hold my raw ancients sometimes as well. I'm simply interested in determining it's possible authenticity.

    Thank you for your feedback.
    -jeffB likes this.
  6. 1916D10C

    1916D10C Key Date Mercs are Life! 1916-D/1921-D/1921

    It doesn't matter. It's a breech of Numismatic etiquette. You can still handle a coin with bare hands but not touch it's surface. Circulated or uncirculated, prints can still be left, thus impairing eye appeal.
  7. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    Looks genuine to me.
  8. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    You're correct. It doesn't matter...

    The coin has no eye appeal anyway in such a worn condition. If it was another coin of comparable age, and w/ such worn details, it would simply be worth its value in melt. Other than being a "trade dollar", it's of little to no value anyway, especially to those primarily concerned with "eye appeal".

    Thank you for your feedback.
  9. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    To those who feel the coin is genuine, do you believe it's worth the expense to have it authenticated? I'm not concerned with grading.

    Normally I wouldn't bother with such a heavily circulated coin with a value under $500, but due to the saturation of counterfeit's in the market, I'm thinking it might be worth it?

    Any feedback on this would be appreciated.
  10. 1916D10C

    1916D10C Key Date Mercs are Life! 1916-D/1921-D/1921

    You missed my point. It doesn't matter whether it's an AG3 coin or an MS65- every time you touch it you're leaving finger oils on the coin's surface. It's your coin, and ultimately your choice. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just saying this as I have seen so many people on the bourse floor handle raw key dates and also people who have tried to handle some of my coins in that manner and it makes me shudder; it isn't a good habit.

    To answer your other question, I wouldn't recommend sending it to be slabbed, as it's value is less than $200. One can tell pretty easily it's authentic.
  11. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    It's worn down to VG. It's been handled bare-handed by hundreds of people, probably more. I think you've made your point more than sufficiently.

    I'm just waiting for the TPGs to realize that they can extract more revenue more accurately report a coin's condition by carefully inspecting a coin's edge for signs of oils or fingerprints.

    "Why settle for an old-slab PF70, when it gives no guarantee that there aren't thousands of molecules of skin oil resting undetected on your coin's edge? Insist on our new AnalEdge service, which carefully analyzes every reed for contaminants, and awards the coveted E70 certification to only the most pristine coins! (Edge Conservation service available, see our fee schedule...)"
    Stevearino, Kentucky, DEA and 3 others like this.
  12. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    Nice looking coin. If I was going to throw it on, say, EBay, I would probably get it in a slab. Anacs or ICG would probably be fine. Otherwise if your son understands what it is it's probably OK uncertified.
  13. 1916D10C

    1916D10C Key Date Mercs are Life! 1916-D/1921-D/1921

    This REALLY cracked me up! :hilarious: Yes I'm quite anal about this, it's a major pet peeve of mine.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Stevearino likes this.
  14. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    Good morning, I appreciate all your feedback..even yours 1916d10c

    A side note to help 1916d10c sleep at nights... I have many nice pieces that I would hesitate to handle even with gloves. But generally speaking, heavily worn, (otherwise junk) silver doesn't qualify. It makes a good "story coin," but it's certainly no investment worth worrying about! Cheers.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
    Stevearino and 1916D10C like this.
  15. LostInTime

    LostInTime New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I'm not selling it, so I'll skip the slabbing. Just glad to have some assurance it's genuine.

    On a side note: It's kind of interesting just having old coins that havn't been bought or sold on any coin market (at least not in 100+ years). Hope my son appreciates it! But that's a whole other thread
    Stevearino and -jeffB like this.
  16. buckeye73

    buckeye73 Active Member

    You may want to place it in a holder with a discription of its history so your son can pass it on to his children. What a momento!
    thomas mozzillo and Kirkuleez like this.
  17. juris klavins

    juris klavins Well-Known Member

    Agreed - it's a bad habit to get into - you may handle your own coins like that, but if you should hold one that's not yours like that, you'll set off sirens and create instant ill will :woot:
  18. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    My take on the authentication is different than most here. I don’t sell my coins. The older I get, the more it occurs to me that I will be leaving behind quite an asset for my wife & kids to have to liquidate. About five years back I went through and sent everything I felt had a value of $200.00 or better and did send them in to be entombed in plastic for the simple reason that I know it will make them easier for my family to liquidate once I leave this party........ So, if you will be keeping this trade dollar and suspect your heirs may be tasked with liquidating it. Yes, I believe you would be doing them a favor having the piece slabbed.
    Stevearino likes this.
  19. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I once reached for a coin from a dealer as if I were going to grab it with my fingers on the face and he admonished me...I was embarrassed and have made every effort not to do that again!:nailbiting:
  20. SilverDollar2017

    SilverDollar2017 Morgan dollars

    Authentic, not worth grading.
  21. ksparrow

    ksparrow Coin Hoarder

    That's a genuine trade dollar, period. Handle it any way you like, it won't hurt it. A nice family keepsake to pass down to the next generation. And, thanks for posting nice sharp photos of the edge... the reeding looks fine and that is the main thing that counterfeiters overlook. I agree that the expense of sending it for formal grading is not worthwhile. Coins like this are meant to be handled and experienced.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    LostInTime likes this.
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