1840 Liberty Seated Silver Dollar. MS-62+ (PCGS).This Mint State 1840 silver dollar is warmly toned in multicolored patina, with shades of mauve-gray, powder blue, lilac, olive-gold and orange-apricot. Well struck for an early Liberty Seated dollar, many of the obverse stars are full and much of the eagles plumage is crisp. The surfaces are overall very nice for the assigned grade and display a soft satin texture.The year 1840 is the first since 1804 that the United States Mint produced silver dollars in quantity for circulation. Distributions of 1836- and 1839-dated Gobrecht dollars did occur during the mid-to-late 1830s, with the total number of coins amounting to fewer than 2,000 pieces. With yearly circulation strike production once again a reality, the Mint adopted a modified version of Christian Gobrechts Liberty Seated motif, said by some to have been prepared by Robert Ball Hughes, but it seems likely that Gobrecht himself adjusted his own design. (Hughes was paid a very small sum for a model, but what it was is not known). Libertys portrait on the new dollar is essentially the same as on the Gobrecht dollar, although the design is not as refined. The reverse of the new design is completely different; the graceful flying eagle of the Gobrecht dollar was changed to the familiar perched eagle with an olive branch and three arrows in its talons and a shield on its breast. The modified Liberty Seated design would remain unchanged on the silver dollar until 1873, with the sole exception being the addition of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse in 1866.During the 1840s silver dollars were not struck on government account but at the request of bullion depositors who requested this denomination for their silver. As there was no significant supply of domestic silver in the United States during the 1840s, and the half dollar remained the most popular denomination with contemporary bullion depositors, silver dollar production remained low throughout that decade. The first year 1840 has a mintage of just 61,005 pieces and, unlike most post-1852 Liberty Seated silver dollar issues, the coins circulated domestically as opposed to being used in international commerce. As such, the 1840 is readily obtainable in worn condition relative to the mintage. Unlike many other first-year issues in U.S. coinage, however, the 1840 silver dollar was not saved in significant quantity by the contemporary public. At the time the pursuit of numismatics was in its infancy. Any collectors desiring current coins ordered Proofs. The release of circulation strikes created no interest at all, and few if any were saved. Accordingly, the 1840 is rare in all Mint State grades, certainly more so than such other 1840s silver dollars as the 1841, 1842 and 1846. With our offerings of such pieces few and far between, we encourage interested parties to enter strong bids for this lot.