Commercial Dollar vrs. Trade Dollar?

Question: What is the difference between a “commercial” dollar and a “trade” dollar? Or is there any difference?

Answer: The term COMMERCIAL DOLLAR first appeared in coinage as an inscription on pattern coins dated 1871. This term was generally used for a year or so and then TRADE DOLLAR replaced it. However, the Mint continued to strike commercial dollar patterns in 1872. After this time the “commercial dollar” nomenclature was dropped in favor of “trade dollar.” Almost, but not quite. To make rarities for private sale to numismatists, the COMMERCIAL DOLLAR die was resurrected in 1875 at the Mint and combined with the Liberty Seated at the Seashore obverse (also used on 1875 pattern silver dollars). Also, in 1876 the Mint made two more COMMERCIAL DOLLAR rarities for the same reason.

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