1852 Seated Liberty Silver Dollar. MS-62 (NGC).
Due to rising silver prices during the earliest years of the California Gold Rush, the federal government had little choice but to overhaul its silver coinage program in order to halt the widespread melting that was making it impossible to keep pieces in circulation. In a deference to tradition, however, and also since this denomination had not seen widespread commercial use for many years, the Silver Dollar was not affected by the terms of the Mint Act of February 21, 1853. Production of this denomination continued at a limited rate until 1873, the coins being used predominantly in the United States' export trade.
Struck one year prior to the silver coinage overhaul, the 1852 Seated Dollar was produced to the extent of just 1,100 pieces. Examples are very scarce-to-rare in all grades, with most grading EF or AU since the issue never saw widespread circulation. This BU survivor is overall sharply struck with only a bit of softness to the detail around the obverse periphery. Essentially brilliant, and free of individually mentionable abrasions, remnants of a faint, shallow planchet streak (as made) that bisect the eagle's beak should serve as useful pedigree markers.