Proof Trade Dollars

The Philadelphia Mint struck Proof Trade Dollars in every year that the coins were issued for circulation. The production of proofs also continued for several years after the last circulation strikes, creating a number of proof only issues.

Generally speaking, the proof coins issued during the years of circulation are more difficult to acquire than the later issues. This had to do with the circumstances at the time of original release. Most were distributed as part of silver proof sets and many of the trade dollars were spent at face value. Following demonetization, some were even sold for less than face value. These factors resulted in poor survivability and handling, leaving very few problem free or high grade specimens.

Collectors were much more likely to retain the Proof Trade Dollars struck from 1878 and later, since these were rarer as dates. Without any circulation strikes, mintages appeared enticingly low.

The 1884 and 1885 Trade Dollars are two extremely rare proof issues struck under clandestine circumstances. Only 10 and 5 pieces were struck for each date, respectively. Their existence was not even known until years later. All of the pieces believed to be originally struck are accounted for within collections today.

1873-1885 Proof Trade Dollar Mintages

1873 865
1874 700
1875 700
1876 1,150
1877 510
1878 900
1879 1,541
1880 1,987
1881 960
1882 1,097
1883 979
1884 10
1885 5