YEARS: 1794-1799 | 1800-1824 | 1825-1849 | 1850-1874 | 1875-1899 | 1900-1924 | 1925-1949 | 1950-1974 | 1975-1999 | 2000-
1793) && ($year < 1804 ) ): $qty=1; $info='Before the American Revolutionary War, coins from many European nations circulated freely in the American colonies, as did coinage issued by the various colonies. Chief among these was the Spanish silver dollar coins (also called pieces of eight or eight reales) minted in Mexico and other colonies with silver mined from Central and South American mines. These coins, along with others of similar size and value, were in use throughout the colonies, and later the United States, and were legal tender until 1857.

In 1776, the Continental Congress authorized plans to produce a silver coin to prop up the rapidly failing Continental—the first attempt by the fledgling US at paper currency. Several examples were struck in brass, pewter, and silver, but a circulating coin was not produced, due in large part to the financial difficulties of running the Revolutionary War. The Continental Dollar bears a date of 1776, and while its true denomination is not known, it is generally the size of later dollars, and the name has stuck. The failure of the Continental exacerbated a distrust of paper money among both politicians and the populace at large. The letters of Thomas Jefferson indicate that he wished the United States to eschew paper money and instead mint coins of similar perceived value and worth to those foreign coins circulating at the time.

The Coinage Act of 1792 authorized the production of dollar coins from silver. The United States Mint produced silver dollar coins from 1794 to 1803, then ceased regular production of silver dollars until 1836. The first silver dollars, precisely 1,758 of them, were coined on October 15, 1794 and were immediately delivered to Mint Director David Rittenhouse for distribution to dignitaries as souvenirs. Thereafter, until 1804, they were struck in varying quantities. There are two obverse designs: Flowing Hair (1794–1795) and Draped Bust (1795–1804). There are also two reverse designs used for the Draped Bust variety: small eagle (1795–1798) and heraldic eagle (1798–1804). Original silver dollars from this period are highly prized by coin collectors and are exceptionally valuable, and range from fairly common to incredibly rare. Due to the early practice of hand engraving each die, there are dozens of varieties known for all dates between 1795–1803.

It is also one of only two denominations (the other being the cent) minted in every year from its inception during the first decade of mint operation. However, the order was given by President Thomas Jefferson to halt silver dollar production due to the continued exportation of US dollars. The Spanish 8 Reales, which was slightly heavier than the US dollar, nonetheless traded at a 1-to-1 ratio. So US dollars went to the Caribbean, were traded for heavier 8 Reales, and those were then brought back to the US, where they would be recoined for free into more US dollars; the difference in silver, then, was kept by the exporter. This ensured that no dollars would circulate in the US, but would instead be exported for their heavier counterparts overseas, leaving little but old, foreign money to circulate in the United States in a process known as Gresham\'s Law (Greshams law is an economic principle that states: "When a government overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation." It is commonly stated as: "Bad money drives out good").'; break; case ( ($year == 1804) ): $qty=1; $info='The 1804 silver dollar is one of the rarest and most famous and popular coins in the world. Its creation was the result of a simple bookkeeping error, but its status as the king of coins has been established for nearly a century and a half. The silver dollars reported by the mint as being struck in 1804 were actually dated 1803 (die steel being very expensive in the early 19th century, dies were used until they were no longer in working condition. This is why many early US coins exhibit all kinds of die cracks, occlusions, cuds, clash marks, and other late state die wear. Dies were used until they literally fell apart. Nearly every coin the US struck from 1793 to 1825 has an example that was struck in a year other than that which it bears.) No dollars bearing the date 1804 were ever struck in 1804, though this was unknown to mint officials at the time the 1804 dollar came to be.

The 1804 silver dollar was actually produced in 1834, when the U.S. Department of State decided to produce a set of U.S. coins to be used as gifts to rulers in Asia in exchange for trade advantages. Since 1804 was the last recorded year of mintage for both the dollar and $10 Eagle, it was decided that the set would contain examples of those coins dated 1804, as well as the other denominations currently being produced. Mint officials, not realizing that the 19,000+ dollars recorded as being produced in 1804 were all dated 1803, proceeded to make new dies dated 1804. Little did they know the stunning rarity they were creating. Only 15 silver dollars with the date of 1804 are known to exist; in 1999, one of them sold at auction for more than $4 million. There are 8 Class I dollars, struck in 1834 for the aforementioned sets, 1 Class II dollar, struck over an 1857 Swiss Shooting Thaler (and now residing in the US Coin Collection at the Smithsonian Institution), and 6 Class III dollars, struck surreptitiously sometime between 1858 and 1860 to meet collector demand for the coin. '; break; case ( ($year > 1804) && ($year < 1836 ) ): $qty=1; $info='After 1800, the price of silver rose dramatically and silver dollars slowly began to disappear from general circulation. Large quantities of U.S. silver dollars were exported outside the country or melted down for their high intrinsic silver content value. Because of this, the U.S. government decided at the end of 1803 to cease production of silver dollars. No silver dollars were produced beyond early 1804 by the US Mint and they did not start producing them again until 1836, ending a 32 year hiatus. '; break; case ( ($year > 1835) && ($year < 1840 ) ): $qty=1; $info='The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint since production of that denomination was officially halted in 1806. The coin was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well received by the public.

In 1835, Director of the United States Mint Samuel Moore resigned his post, and Robert M. Patterson assumed the position. Shortly after, Patterson began an attempt to redesign the nation\'s coinage. After Mint Chief Engraver William Kneass suffered a stroke later that year, Christian Gobrecht was hired as an engraver. On August 1, Patterson wrote a letter to Philadelphia artist Thomas Sully laying out his plans for the dollar coin. He also asked Titian Peale to create a design for the coin. Sully created an obverse design depicting a seated representation of Liberty and Peale a reverse depicting a soaring bald eagle, which were converted into coin designs by Gobrecht. After the designs were created and trials struck, production of the working dies began in September 1836.

After a small quantity was struck for circulation, the Mint received complaints regarding the prominent placement of Gobrecht\'s name on the dollar, and the design was modified to incorporate his name in a less conspicuous position. In January 1837, the legal standard for the percentage of precious metal in silver coins was changed from 89.2% to 90%, and the Gobrecht dollars struck after that point reflect this change. In total, 1,900 Gobrecht dollars were struck during the official production run. Production of the Seated Liberty dollar, which utilized the same obverse design as the Gobrecht dollar, began mintage in 1840. In the 1850s, Mint officials controversially re-struck the coins without authorization. '; break; case ( ($year > 1839) && ($year < 1874 ) ): $qty=1; $info='Seated Liberty dollars were introduced in 1840 and were minted in larger quantities than the sparsely minted Gobrecht dollar that preceded it. The dollars were used in general circulation until 1853. The production of large numbers of US gold coins (First $1 1849 and $20 in 1850) from the new California mines lowered the price of the value of silver rose. By 1853, the value of a US Silver Dollar contained in gold terms, $1.07 of silver. With the Mint Act of 1853, all US Silver coins, except for the US Silver Dollar and new 3 cent coin, were reduced by 6.9% as of weight with arrows on the date to denote reduction. The US Silver Dollar was continued to be minted in very small numbers mainly as a foreign trade to the Orient.

The international trading partners did not like the fact that U.S.A. coins were reduced in weight. The use of much more common half dollars became problematic since merchants would have to separate higher value pre-1853 coins from the newer reduced ones. From 1853 onwards, trade with Asia was typically done with Mexican coins that kept their weight and purity in the 19th Century. This ended in 1874 when the price of silver dropped so that a silver dollar has less than $1.00 worth of silver in it (huge amounts of silver coming from the Nevada Comstock Lode mines). By 1876, all silver coins were being used as money and by 1878, gold was at par with all US paper dollars. Beginning in 1878, huge amounts of the Morgan silver dollars were produced but few were used as money. The size was too large to carry on business so Silver Certificates were used instead. The mint made the coins, placed them in their vaults and issued the Silver Certificates instead. This is the reason so many Morgan and Peace dollars can be purchased in AU or UNC condition (near perfect)... they sat in bank/US Treasury vaults most of the time.

Each coin is composed of 0.77344 troy oz of silver. They were minted at Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, and San Francisco. A Silver dollar is worth $1 in silver at $1.31 per troy ounce. Current silver price (February 26, 2013) is $29.25 per troy ounce so a silver dollar is worth, melted down (melt value) of about $22.62 US. '; break; } // End the switch statement echo '

'; if ($year > 1794) { $previousyear = $year-1; echo 'Previous US dollar '.$previousyear.''; } if ( ($year > 1794) && ($year < $curYear) ) { echo " | "; } if ($year < $curYear) { $nextyear = $year+1; echo 'Next US dollar '.$nextyear.''; } echo '

Click here to view the US one dollar coin piece of '.$year.' at eBay

'; if ($qty > 1) { for ($a = 1; $a < $qty; $a++) { echo '

'; } // End for loop } // End if statement echo $info; //Print the info based on the year the coin was made. ?>