The first US trade dollar was issued in early 1873. It was a creation of the coinage act of 1973, approved by the Senate and signed by the president. It started as commercial experimentation. The trade dollar was not accepted at first; it wasn’t even accepted as a medal that could be awarded to an athlete or even a patent that would be awarded to inventors to protect their achievements.
The misunderstanding about using trade dollars ran across the public, officials, treasury departments, and members of congress. It was the disputations of trade dollars that drew the attention of many.
Similar commercial experimentation was also done in several other nations. But the trade dollar value took the lead because it had a unique set of conditions, and its invention proposed a different direction.
The History of US Trade Dollar Value
United States trade dollars were made as a minted coin intended to win the competition from other silvery coins, especially those that had taken the course in Asia, mainly China. The initial idea of creating trade dollars was conceived around the 1860s following the fall of the prices of silver. The price drop resulted from increased silver mining in the west of the United States.
The Coinage Act Of 1973
Before the pass of the bill in 1973, Mint, led by James Pollock, continued to produce a series of commercial dollar patterns later changed to “trade dollars.” After the bill, the director of the Mint met with a lender man who was a special agent in the treasury to discuss the new design constraints of the trade dollar. The obverse was a figure of a female seated on a bale holding a scroll in her left hand.
The portrait had several meanings, as suggested by William Barber-the coin designer. The seated female symbolized liberty, among other symbols used. Subsequently, the trade dollar was approved and accepted as a legal tender for up to five trade dollar values.
The production hit in 1973 when much of the coins produced were delivered to China and became very successful over the Mexican peso because it was heavier. Afterward, bullion production started to make trade dollars, converting a large amount of silver into trade dollars. The mass production enabled the trade dollars to take over the United States commerce but caused a fall in trade dollar value.
The Fall Of US Trade Dollar Value
Following the crisis of trade dollar value decrease, Lindeman approved a new coin design. But his approval was immediately rejected by Mint because they feared the Chinese would not accept it.
The production of the coins ended in 1878. The coin striking continued up to 1883 when it was believed that around 979 coins were made at the Mint in Philadelphia. After that, the trade dollars were out of the market. Until 1965 when the coins were made a legal tender again, many of the trade dollars were melted since they traded for less than a dollar in value.
Although the US trade dollars are out of the market now, many believe it was the most beautifully made currency in the history of the United States. Today they are in high demand by coin collectors.