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US Coins

What is the value of an 1881 US 1 dollar gold piece?

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October 10, 2015 10:04PM

An 1881 $1 gold piece is a tiny coin slightly smaller than a dime. If you have a large (38 mm) gold-colored coin it's actually a silver dollar that's been plated.

If your coin has a picture of President James Garfield on the front of it and the Statue of Liberty on the back, it's a modern Presidential dollar and is only worth face value (one buck). 1881 is the year Garfield served as president.

If your coin is a small $1 gold piece, its value in circulated condition is mostly determined by the fact that it's made of a 90% gold alloy. Numismedia lists the following approximate retail values as of 04/2011:

Very worn condition - $132

Moderately worn - $186

Slightly worn - $264

Almost no wear - $319

Uncirculated - $425 to $13,000 depending on quality.

DISCLAIMER: The retail values quoted are the best available as of the date shown, but may vary significantly due to changes in the precious metals market. Also the wholesale (buying) price of a coin will be less than the selling (retail) price. A reputable coin dealer will be able to give a more accurate valuation based on inspection of the coin.