Coin and Paper Money Collecting/rare coin


Hello Mr.Fern, My inquiry is about a rare 1804 Liberty dollar, United States coin. What can you tell me about its value? And how about an 1878 Trade dollar? Thank you, sir.


1804 $1 is quite rare. If you have one, it is likely a replica. It is well known as being counterfeited in the numismatic community. There are a lot of famous silver coins in the world. One of the most world famous and expensive silver coins is the 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar. It was actually first struck in 1834, not 1804 as the date suggests. A recent sale was for over $4 million.

How to tell if it is real: A legitimate 1804 Silver Dollar is 39 mm to 40 mm in Diameter. The composition is .8924 Silver and .1076 Copper. The Weight: 26.96 grams. The edge will be lettered and say: "HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT". A total of 15 specimens are known to exist.  It would be a good guess that over the years many more have been "created" via the inescapable, unscrupulous con artists seeking prey.

For history and added information, see:

The 1878 Trade Dollar was only issued in Poof, ($20,000) and is quite scarce as well. Check the reverse. If here is an "S" under the eagle's tail, it is common, and worth about $90 in circulated condition. See:

These "copies" show up on eBay from time to time. You may want to check out the US coins and currency category under Replicas to see if your piece is listed and what it is going for.

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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