March 17, 1885
Hon. H. C. Burchard,
Director of the Mint
In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 13th inst., I enclose herewith a statement, giving the number of Trade Dollars struck and sold at this Mint from 1878 to 1883 inclusive, with the profit thereon indicated.
You will notice that in 1880 and 1881 there were more pieces sold than struck. This is accounted for by the facet that some of the dollars of the previous year were sold in the early part of the year, before the proofs for that year were prepared. In the ither years, the number sold is less than the number struck. The dollars over were exchanged with the Coiner for those of the succeeding year.
Prior to 1881 the Trade Dollars were sold in the silver and minor coin sets, and also separately. After that period I stopped the sale of the Trade Dollar separately, as I did not think it wise to encourage their issue, restricting them, as far as possible, to legitimate coin collectors who would purchase the entire set.
In calculating the profits on the Trade Dollars sold in sets, I have given a relative proportion of the profits so derived.
When I assumed the Superintendency of the Mint, I found the proof sets, including the Trade Dollars, were selling at $4.50. This seemed to me excessive. I therefore recommended a reduction to $4, which was approved by the Director of the Mint, and went into effect on the 15th of April 1879. Previous to that time, Trade Dollars – when separate – were sold at $1.50; after that period at $1.25.
Trusting the statement and foregoing remarks may cover the information you desire.
Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant
A. Loudon Snowden, Superintendent
* * * * *
Number of Trade Dollars struck and sold at the Mint of the U.S. at Philadelphia, from 1878 to 1883, inclusive.
Year No. Struck No. Sold Profits
1878 900 689 $ 189.00
1879 1,541 1,488 388.95
1880 1,987 2,009 369.25
1881 960 990 148.50
1882 1,097 1,055 158.25
1883 979 1,019 152.85
Totals 7,464 $7,250 $1,406.80
[Sorry about the table formatting.]
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