Detecting Counterfeit US Trade Dollars

Welcome Guest! Need help? Our coin forum is completely free and you can get help in minutes. Register Now!

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 Dollar on eBay
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 Dollar on eBay
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

1878 S TRADE DOLLAR ANACS VF 30 DETAILS
1878 S TRADE DOLLAR ANACS VF 30 DETAILS
1876 SILVER TRADE DOLLAR. DAMAGED VF/XF DETAIL ORGINAL STATE TYPE 2 VARIETY
1876 SILVER TRADE DOLLAR. DAMAGED  VF/XF DETAIL  ORGINAL STATE  TYPE 2 VARIETY
1876 TRADE$ PCGS MS66 OGH BEAUTIFUL GEM US TRADE DOLLAR BEAUTIFUL GEM
1876 TRADE$ PCGS MS66  OGH  BEAUTIFUL GEM   US TRADE DOLLAR   BEAUTIFUL GEM
1875 S TRADE DOLLAR GRADED AU50 BY PCGS
1875 S TRADE DOLLAR  GRADED AU50 BY PCGS
1877 CC TRADE DOLLAR EXTRA FINE TO ALMOST UNCIRCULATED P 69
1877 CC TRADE DOLLAR EXTRA FINE TO ALMOST UNCIRCULATED P 69
1875 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR VF FINE DETAILS NOW CLEANED TRUSTED
1875 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR  VF FINE DETAILS   NOW CLEANED  TRUSTED
1878 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR VG/FINE DETAILS
1878 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR  VG/FINE DETAILS
T2: 1992 MAUI TRADE DOLLAR DESIGNED BY S.T. WURMSER. ONLY 100 000 MINTED
T2: 1992 MAUI TRADE DOLLAR DESIGNED BY S.T. WURMSER. ONLY 100 000 MINTED
1925 S SILVER PEACE DOLLAR NICE AU COIN WITH SLIGHT WEAR ON THE HIGH SPOTS 02
1925 S SILVER PEACE DOLLAR NICE AU COIN WITH SLIGHT WEAR ON THE HIGH SPOTS 02
1873 CC SILVER TRADE DOLLAR CARSON CITY VG/FINE DETAILS
1873 CC SILVER TRADE DOLLAR   CARSON CITY VG/FINE DETAILS
1875 CC SILVER TRADE DOLLAR CARSON CITY TYPE 1 REVERSE VF DETAILS
1875 CC SILVER TRADE DOLLAR   CARSON CITY TYPE 1 REVERSE VF DETAILS
1873 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR FINE DETAILS
1873 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR  FINE DETAILS
1873 P SILVER TRADE DOLLAR VG DETAILS
1873 P SILVER TRADE DOLLAR  VG DETAILS
USA 1962 SEATTLE $1 TRADE DOLLAR CENTURY 21 EXPOSITION TOKEN B35 K2544
USA 1962 SEATTLE $1 TRADE DOLLAR   CENTURY 21 EXPOSITION TOKEN B35 K2544
1877 POTTY TRADE DOLLAR ENGRAVED LIBERTY SEATED ON POTTY NICELY DONE
1877 POTTY TRADE DOLLAR   ENGRAVED LIBERTY SEATED ON POTTY   NICELY DONE
1878S TRADE OPIUM DOLLAR SECRET HIDDEN LOCKET SMUGGLER SNUFF BOX SPY TRICK COIN
1878S TRADE OPIUM DOLLAR SECRET HIDDEN LOCKET SMUGGLER SNUFF BOX SPY TRICK COIN
 

Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use