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 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR PCGS MS61
1875 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR PCGS MS61
1875 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1 AU DETAILS COIN
1875 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1   AU DETAILS    COIN
1876 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1 CHOICE AU DETAILS COIN
1876 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1   CHOICE AU DETAILS    COIN
1878 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR 90 SILVER HI GRADE US COLLECTIBLE COIN E13
1878 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR 90  SILVER HI GRADE  US COLLECTIBLE COIN  E13
1876 S $1 SILVER TRADE DOLLAR CHOPMARKED VF DETAILS COLLECTIBLE US COIN E7
1876 S $1 SILVER TRADE DOLLAR CHOPMARKED VF DETAILS COLLECTIBLE US COIN  E7
UNITED STATES 1877 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR SILVER COIN NGC AU53 SAN FRANSISCO MINT
UNITED STATES 1877 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR SILVER COIN NGC AU53 SAN FRANSISCO MINT
1876 TRADE$ 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 SILVER DOLLAR T$1 CERTIFIED ICG AU55 DETAILS COIN
1875 S TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1   CERTIFIED ICG AU55 DETAILS    COIN
1877 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR XF DETAILS
1877 S SILVER TRADE DOLLAR  XF DETAILS
1875 CC TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1 PCGS XF DETAILS EF CARSON CITY COIN
1875 CC TRADE SILVER DOLLAR T$1   PCGS XF DETAILS  EF     CARSON CITY COIN
1877 S $1 TRADE DOLLAR SAN FRANCISCO MINT US TYPE COIN
 1877  S $1 TRADE DOLLAR SAN FRANCISCO MINT US TYPE COIN
1875 S TRADE DOLLAR
1875 S TRADE DOLLAR
1874 S TRADE DOLLAR CHOP MARK
1874 S TRADE DOLLAR CHOP MARK
1875 CC TRADE DOLLAR ANACS AU 58 DETAILS GRAFFITI ORIG LOOK
1875 CC TRADE DOLLAR    ANACS  AU 58 DETAILS GRAFFITI  ORIG LOOK
1877 S T$1 TRADE DOLLAR NGC XF 40 EXTRA FINE SAN FRANCISCO MINT US TYPE COIN
1877 S T$1 TRADE DOLLAR NGC XF 40 EXTRA FINE SAN FRANCISCO MINT US TYPE COIN
1877 S TRADE DOLLAR. VG F. 162142
1877 S TRADE DOLLAR.  VG F.  162142

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