US Coins

Market Analysis: A baseball star’s 1863 Seated Liberty dollar

Baseball star Andre Dawson’s 1863 Seated Liberty dollar, graded MS-67, sold in December for $114,000, more than double what it realized in 1998.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

An 1863 Seated Liberty dollar graded Mint State 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Co. in Heritage’s December auction was described as “one of the most awe-inspiring and, indeed, memorable Seated Liberty dollars we have ever had to privilege to offer at auction.”

Heritage offered it in 1998 as part of the collection of Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Andre Dawson, where it sold for $50,600.

Speaking to the changing nature of grading in the decades since then, the auctioneer wrote, “In 1998 Andre Dawson consigned dozens of coins with his name listed on the pedigree line of the encasement. However, it has been years since we have seen another coin with his name in the pedigree, leading us to believe most have been upgraded or crossed over, leaving very few coins directly attributable to his collection.”

The 1863 Seated Liberty dollar is desirable as a Civil War issue with a low mintage of 27,200, of which just a few dozen Mint State examples remain.

The catalog states, “Dazzling cartwheel luster abounds on both sides and there is very little toning to impede its shimmering qualities, just a touch of golden color about the upper obverse margin and blushes of a slightly darker shade here and there on the portrait of Liberty.”

It brought $114,000.

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