An extremely rare 1884 Proof trade dollar is expected to fetch as much as $500,000 at an auction in Baltimore, Md., in March.
Designed by William Barber (1807-1879), who was the fifth chief engraver of the U.S. Mint from 1869 until his death, the front of the coin features a left-facing seated Lady Liberty who extends her hand with an olive branch over the sea. A bald eagle is on the reverse side.
Trade dollars were minted in the early 1870s to compete with other large silver trade coins popular in East Asia. Proof coins are the finest quality of coins produced by the Mint, typically featuring sculpted, shiny and intricate finish.
While the Mint had ended the production of trade dollars in 1878, Proof examples continued to circulate officially through 1883. Additional Proof examples were struck at the beginning of 1884, but were never distributed. Eventually, all but 10 of the 1884 examples were melted.
Read more about the rare 1884 trade dollar on the Barrons.com website HERE