1869 Liberty Seated dollars are collected by those who enjoy 19th-century type silver coins, which are considerably scarce collectibles. As these silver dollars contain nearly one ounce of silver, some may wonder whether they make good bullion investments. The answer to that question is a firm “no,” as they are far more valuable as rare collectibles. The numismatic premium for a typical Liberty Seated dollar is hundreds of dollars over their intrinsic spot value – not a good buy for miserly silver stackers!
1869 Liberty Seated dollars are scarce, but the date is actually one of the most common in the realm of the series as a whole. 423,700 were struck, including 600 proof specimens. Business strikes range in value from $300 in Very Good-8 to $2,300 or more in a grade of Mint State-60. Proofs are worth $4,000 to $7,500 or more, depending on their individual conditions.
1869 marks the last year for the series that all issues were struck at only the Philadelphia Mint. During the remaining years of the series, which spanned from 1840 through 1873, the Liberty Seated silver dollar was made at the Philadelphia, Carson City, and San Francisco Mints. During the earlier years of the series, the New Orleans Mint also produced the Liberty Seated dollar.
United States Mint Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht designed the Liberty Seated silver dollar as well as most other Liberty Seated type coins, which were generally made from the late 1830s through early 1890s.
Liberty Seated silver dollars circulated mainly during the 1840s and 1850s. By the 1860s, Liberty Seated dollars circulated primarily within foreign trade channels, a fate common for many U.S. silver dollars made during the 19th century. As silver prices rose during the 1860s and at other points during the 19th century, use of silver dollars in foreign trade would further rise, particularly in Asian nations.
1869 Liberty Seated dollars were made from composition consisting of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper; they weigh 26.73 grams and contain 0.77344 ounces of pure silver. They also measure 38.1 millimeters in diameter – the same width as the popular Morgan and Peace silver dollars that were struck by the United States Mint during the latter 19th and early 20th centuries.