1856 Liberty Seated dollars are scarce 19th-century type silver coins that are mainly bought by numismatists who collect classic U.S. coins. Liberty Seated silver dollars contain almost a full ounce of silver, but they are far more important as numismatically significant coins than merely as silver bullion coins to be bought for their intrinsic value. Liberty Seated dollars were designed in 1840 by United States Mint Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht.
Seated Liberty silver dollars were struck through 1873. They were issued by the Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, and San Francisco Mints over the course of more than 30 years. In 1856, a relatively small output of 63,500 silver dollars were struck only in Philadelphia. They are worth from $450 in Very Good-8 to $5,000 and up in uncirculated grades. Proof versions are worth $7,000 or more. 1856 Liberty Seated silver dollars are challenging to locate in original, undamaged condition. Thus, pristine specimens are worth more in their respective grade than pieces that exhibit signs of cleaning, damage, or other alterations.
Liberty Seated silver dollars circulated widely for the first several years of their production, but as silver bullion prices rose, these coins were more often encountered in foreign trade than in mainstream circulation. 1856 Liberty Seated dollars consist of composition of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, weigh 26.73 grams, and contain 0.77344 ounces of pure silver. They measure 38.1 millimeters in diameter, which is the standard width of all large-size U.S. silver dollars made since the 1840s, including the ever-popular Morgan and Peace silver dollars.