Detecting Counterfeit US Trade Dollars

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Trade dollars are highly counterfeited and buyers need to do their homework. Below you will find some tips on detecting fake trade dollars.

A lot of times counterfeiters get the obverse and reverse types mismatched, below we show how to catch those easily.

Please note that just because a coin may pass the tests on this page does not mean it is genuine. If you are unsure, post an image of your coin in the Classic US Coin Forum and you will get plenty of help.

First Check the Specifications

Content:

90% silver 10% copper (try the tissue test)

Weight:

27.2 grams

Diameter:

38.1 millimeters

Edge:

Reeded

Then check to see if the obverse types match the reverse types.

US Trade Dollar Obverse Types

There are two types of obverses on US trade dollars. The easiest marker is the ribbon, as seen in the images below.

Type one is used from 1873 through 1876. Type two is used from 1876 through 1885.

 Certified Trade Dollar Trade Dollar Obverse Types
Trade Dollar Obverse Types
Certified Trade Dollars
Image Courtesy of Heritage Auctions on eBay

US Trade Dollar Reverse Types

There are also two types of reverses on US trade dollars. The easiest marker is the arrows, as seen in the images below.

Type one is used from 1873 through 1876. Type two is used from 1875 through 1885.

 Certified Trade Dollar Trade Dollar Reverse Types
Trade Dollar Reverse Types
Certified Trade Dollars
Image Courtesy of Heritage Auctions on eBay

Obverse and Reverse Pairings

1873 - 1874

Type 1 obverse paired with type 1 reverse.
Type 2 obverse is a counterfeit.
Type 2 reverse is a counterfeit.

1875

Type 1 obverse paired with type 1 reverse.
Type 1 obverse paired with type 2 reverse.
Type 2 obverse is a counterfeit.

1876

Type 1 obverse and type 1 reverse.
Type 1 obverse and type 2 reverse.
Type 2 obverse and type 2 reverse.
Type 2 obverse paired with type 1 reverse is a counterfeit.

1877 - 1885

Type 2 obverse and Type 2 reverse only.
Type 1 obverse is a counterfeit.
Type 1 reverse is a counterfeit.

Trade Dollar Grading

Trade Dollar General Grading Standards

Free Trade Dollar Help

Trade Dollar Forum
Trade Dollar Variety and Error Forum
Trade Dollar Grading Forum

Additional Trade Dollar Resources

Trade Dollar Facts     Trade Dollar History
Trade Dollar Types / Counterfeit Help

Trade Dollars for Sale

Cheap Trade Dollars
Hot Trade Dollars
Popular Trade Dollars
Error Trade Dollars
Trade Dollars on eBay

Trade Dollar Reading

Buyer's Guide to Silver & Trade Dollars of the US
Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the US, Vols. 1-2
2020 Red Book - Guide Book of United States Coins
Cherrypickers Guide to Rare Die Varieties

Certified Trade Dollars on eBay

eBay Certified Application

Click on any of the boxes to see much larger images.

All Certified Trade Dollars

All Buy It Now Certified Trade Dollars

1875 TRADE DOLLAR PF63 CONDITION AS GRADED BY NGC & INSURANCE
1875 TRADE DOLLAR PF63 CONDITION AS GRADED BY NGC  & INSURANCE
1877 S TRADE US DOLLAR NICE EXTRA FINE COLLECTABLE SILVER COIN.
1877 S TRADE US DOLLAR NICE EXTRA FINE COLLECTABLE SILVER COIN.
US TRADE DOLLAR 1877 S SAN FRANCISCO MINT LARGE SILVER COIN NICE TONED
US TRADE DOLLAR 1877 S SAN FRANCISCO MINT LARGE SILVER COIN NICE TONED
1876 $1 UNITED STATES SILVER TRADE DOLLAR HISTORICAL
1876 $1 UNITED STATES SILVER TRADE DOLLAR HISTORICAL
1877 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE VF E294 YCMZ
1877 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE VF E294 YCMZ
1875 CC TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE VF E293 WNBM
1875 CC TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE VF E293 WNBM
1876 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE AU E292 WEHT
1876 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR CHOICE AU  E292 WEHT
1878 S TRADE DOLLAR.
1878 S TRADE DOLLAR.
1876 TRADE DOLLAR $1 COIN ANACS AU 50 DETAILS CORRODED
1876 TRADE DOLLAR $1 COIN ANACS AU 50 DETAILS  CORRODED
1876 S TRADE DOLLAR ANACS VF20 DETAILS CLEANED/PLUGGED
1876 S TRADE DOLLAR ANACS VF20 DETAILS  CLEANED/PLUGGED
1874 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR $1 ANACS AU 50 DETAILS HEAT DAMAGED/POLISHED
1874 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR $1 ANACS AU 50 DETAILS HEAT DAMAGED/POLISHED
1876 S TRADE DOLLAR AU CHOPMARKS SKU58138
1876 S TRADE DOLLAR AU  CHOPMARKS    SKU58138
1877 TRADE DOLLAR XF 40 NGC SKU206498
1877 TRADE DOLLAR XF 40 NGC   SKU206498
1878 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR GORGEOUS SLIDER AU OR UNC YOU DECIDE
1878 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR GORGEOUS SLIDER    AU   OR UNC YOU DECIDE
1873 CC DATE TRADE DOLLAR ANACS AU55 EXCELLENT APPEAL DAVIDKAHNCOINS
1873 CC  DATE TRADE DOLLAR ANACS AU55 EXCELLENT APPEAL DAVIDKAHNCOINS
1883 TRADE$ PCGS/CAC PR 66 CAM EX: D.L. HANSEN PROOF ONLY TRADE DOLLAR
1883 TRADE$ PCGS/CAC PR 66 CAM EX: D.L. HANSEN    PROOF ONLY TRADE DOLLAR

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