Trade Dollars were struck from 1873 to 1885 and coins were minted in Philadelphia, Carson City, and San Francisco. They were slightly heavier than Seated Liberty and Morgan Dollars as they were issued to circulate in Asia and compete with similar size dollar coins from other countries. Many were counter stamped with Oriental characters that are referred to as “chop marks”.
Trade Dollars were legal tender in the United States until silver prices plummeted in 1878 and that status was revoked. Only proofs were made from 1879 until the end of the series in 1885.
This series is very popular with collectors and a few rarities exist. 1884 and 1885 saw mintages of 5 and 10 respectively and sell for large sums of money on the rare occasions that they are offered. The 1878-CC is the ‘key’ business strike with a mintage of 97,000.