Home U.S. Coin Forum

Any tips on buying a trade dollar

mt_mslamt_msla Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭

Seems like most the trade dollars I've seen were cleaned and now toned super ugly, or chopped, or worn far more than I like.

Any tips on getting a nice trade dollar without spending a fortune?

Insert witicism here. [ xxx ]



  • Options
    OuthaulOuthaul Posts: 7,440 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rule #1: Don't buy them raw on eBay unless you've got a real good eye. Too many counterfeits.

  • Options
    ldhairldhair Posts: 7,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't buy your first one raw.


  • Options
    thebeavthebeav Posts: 3,753 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is no Santa Clause in numismatics, so you will have to pay for whatever you get. The advice to avoid 'raw' for the time being is spot-on.

  • Options
    mt_mslamt_msla Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks guys.

    Insert witicism here. [ xxx ]

  • Options
    AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,539 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Keep in mind that there are probably more fake TD's than real ones in existence today.

    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • Options
    OnastoneOnastone Posts: 3,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I didn't realize there were that many counterfeits out there...how can you tell if it's fake? Magnet test? Close examination? What are some of the key things to look for? Avoiding a raw coin is really good advice but aren't there fake slabs and labels too? I guess the best advice is Buyer Beware.

  • Options
    ChrisRxChrisRx Posts: 5,619 ✭✭✭✭

    Agree on the lots of counterfeits. They seem to be (at least to me) the most counterfeited coin out there (which might be why some people stay away.)

  • Options
    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1. Learn what an original Trade dollar looks like in the grade you want.
    2. Buy one graded by one of the four major TPGS.
    3. Read about the different hub combinations. It will be almost as much fun as owning one. Don't worry, even if this takes a month, the coins will still be all over the place. Best of all, most of the folks selling them don't know which of the "so-called" common coins are more scarce than others.

    @Onastone said: "I didn't realize there were that many counterfeits out there...how can you tell if it's fake? Magnet test? Close examination? What are some of the key things to look for? Avoiding a raw coin is really good advice but aren't there fake slabs and labels too?"

    So many questions, so little time...

    If you learn what the design, surface texture, and color, of a genuine trade dollar looks like, it will eliminate 95% of the counterfeits. There are only a very few highly deceptive fakes around and apparently nothing new in the past year or three. Unfortunately, most do not take this advice. Oh, toss the magnet. You'll be able to spot anything that bad with a little study.

  • Options
    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Never buy a raw one unless you are an expert and even then, it is a mine field.

  • Options
    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is one of the most heavily counterfeited series.

  • Options
    CCDollarCCDollar Posts: 717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Have enough money to jump on the right one when the time is correct...

    Nickel Triumph...My Led Zepps
  • Options
    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,944 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Buy only a slabbed example. As so many have said, counterfeits abound.

    Be selective. Real trade dollars are not rare but nice ones are not cheap. If you can't afford a nice looking then delay your purchase until you can. The future for second rate examples is bleak.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • Options
    kazkaz Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree that if you haven't studied these, you should avoid raw coins. Still, this thread might be helpful:https://cointalk.com/threads/how-do-you-spot-fake-trade-dollars-anyway.63695/

  • Options
    kazkaz Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1877-s and 1878-s have high mintages and are readily available at reasonable prices in AU. Dealers who specialize in seated liberty coins often have a few nice Trades, like Dick Osburn and Gerry Fortin.

  • Options
    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah ... don't bid against TDN. ;)

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
  • Options
    joebb21joebb21 Posts: 4,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    depending on what you define as a fortune, you can get super nice AU55-58 pieces for around $300-$400

    may the fonz be with you...always...
  • Options
    OldEastsideOldEastside Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Research past threads here regarding Trade Dollars, there are many and again don't buy raw
    in fact I personally know 3 or 4 dealers that wont touch them raw as that's how bad the counterfeits are in this hobby and listen to all the experts here, they have great advice.


    Promote the Hobby
  • Options
    MikeInFLMikeInFL Posts: 10,188 ✭✭✭✭


    Collector of Large Cents, US Type, and modern pocket change.
  • Options
    mbogomanmbogoman Posts: 5,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's a fascinating series with as much variety as you may want. Learn about them, what they look like in various conditions and grades, compare and contrast authenticated ones with counterfeits. Learn how to interpret photos. If you don't already have Photoshop or an equivalent, get it. It is extremely valuable for playing with pictures, bringing out highlights and exposing problems. After a couple years, you should be knowledgeable enough to be able to easily detect 95% of the fakes, then you can venture into buying raw. There are plenty of older threads on this board with a wealth of free info. Use it.

    I have basically funded a big part of my collection by buying raw coins, getting them certified and then re-selling.

    Cheers, and best of luck!

  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good advice above..... I like Trade Dollars and have seen many at shows.... I personally like the chopped dollars... Either buy from a reputable source (as mentioned above) or stick to slabbed coins. As always, buy the coin you like, do not settle....Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    By the time you become a nut, it’s a fortune.

  • Options
    roadrunnerroadrunner Posts: 28,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @astrorat said:
    Yeah ... don't bid against TDN. ;)

    Actually, that's what you should do. At least then you know you'll be bidding on a nice coin.

    Barbarous Relic No More, LSCC -GoldSeek--shadow stats--SafeHaven--321gold

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file