Dollar

How Valuable is the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin?

Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the USA, served from 1837 to 1841. In 2008, a dollar coin was issued to commemorate him. The question is, could this coin be valuable? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the value of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin. We’ll delve into the estimations provided by independent coin graders and examine auction prices. So, if you’re curious to find out more, keep on reading.

1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren $1 Coin Value Chart

Let’s start by examining the different values of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin:

TypeCirculatedMS60MS65MS66MS67
2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A Value$1$3$7$12$80
2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position B Value$1$3$7$12$55
2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A Value$1$3$5$12n/a
2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position B Value$1$3$7$12$300
PR60PR63PR68PR69PR70
2008 S 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Proof, Deep Cameo Value$1$3$5$12$30
SP60SP63SP65SP68SP69
2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A, Satin Finish Value$3$4$5$12$300
2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position B, Satin Finish Value$3$4$5$12$65
2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A Satin Finish Value$3$4$5$12$90
2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position B, Satin Finish Value$3$4$5$12$575

History of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin

In 2007, the US Mint initiated a series of dollar coins commemorating the nation’s presidents. To qualify for inclusion, the President had to have passed away at least two years prior to the coin’s minting. The coins were released in chronological order based on the presidencies. As the eighth president, Martin Van Buren’s dollar coin was the eighth in the series. It was issued in November 2008 and continued to be minted for three months.

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Over 102 million business strike coins were minted for circulation. Denver and Philadelphia Mint facilities struck these coins, with Philadelphia producing slightly over half of the total. The San Francisco Mint also produced proof coins for collectors.

An interesting design element of these coins was the use of edge lettering. Although edge lettering had been used in the past, it had been over 70 years since its last appearance on a US coin. The introduction of edge lettering did cause some production issues, with a small number of coins featuring absent, weak, or partial lettering. These unique pieces have since become highly sought after by collectors.

It’s worth noting that the Martin Van Buren dollar coins were not the only dollar coin design issued in 2008. Coins featuring James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson were released earlier that same year, along with Sacagawea dollars. Additionally, a set of “First Spouse” dollars was produced, but since Van Buren was unmarried, a depiction of Lady Liberty replaced the usual partner image on his coin.

Features of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin

Let’s explore the distinctive features of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin.

Obverse of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin

Obverse of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin
Image: usmint

Similar to the other coins in the Presidential series, the Martin Van Buren dollar coin showcases the President’s image on the obverse. The design portrays Van Buren’s head and top of his shoulders, slightly facing left. Renowned American artist Joel Iskowitz created this image. Notably, Iskowitz has also designed stamps, medals, and illustrated books.

Above Van Buren’s portrait, you’ll find his name inscribed. Below it, there’s an inscription stating “8th President” and, with a small gap, “1847 to 1851,” representing his years in office.

Reverse of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin

Reverse of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin

The reverse of the Martin Van Buren dollar coin features the same design seen on other coins in the Presidential series. It showcases the Statue of Liberty as seen from below, with her right arm extending through the center, drawing attention to her torch. The design, officially titled “Liberty Enlightening the World,” symbolizes American confidence.

Encircling the design is the country’s name, with the denomination appearing below Liberty’s outstretched arm. All the lettering is in ITC Benguiat font.

Other Features of the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin

Just like the other Presidential dollars, the Martin Van Buren dollar coin exhibits an appealing pale gold color. Although the core of the coin is made of copper, the color comes from the cladding, which is an alloy of copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel.

The coins have a diameter of 26.5 millimeters (slightly over an inch) and weigh 8.1 grams.

One distinct feature of these coins is the inscribed lettering on the edges. The lettering includes the mint mark, year of issue, 13 stars, and the mottos “E pluribus unum” and “In God We Trust.” It’s important to note that for coins in the series dated from 2009 onwards, the motto “In God We Trust” was moved to the obverse.

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If you want to explore the features of the Van Buren dollar coin in more detail, you can watch a YouTube video by Big D Coins.

1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin Value Guides

Now, let’s dive into the different values associated with the 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin.

2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A and Position B Value

2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, Position A and Position B value
Image: pcgs

The early years of the Presidential dollar coin series saw high mintages. For the Van Buren dollars, almost 102.5 million were struck in the second year of the series. Among these, 51,520,000 were produced in Philadelphia, identifiable by the upper case “P” mint mark on the edge. The majority of these coins in circulation are worth their face value, even in mint state conditions, fetching only a few dollars at most.

The highest known quality examples of these coins are graded MS67, just three points away from flawless. If you have one of these, it will be worth more. However, the value depends on whether it’s a Position A or Position B coin, referring to the orientation of the inscriptions on the coin’s edge. If the inscriptions are upside down when the President’s portrait is facing up, it’s a Position A coin. If they’re right-side up when the coin is facing the same way, it’s a Position B coin.

According to the PCGS, a dollar graded MS67 is valued at $80. Position B examples are slightly more common and valued at around $55.

2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A and Position B Value

2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, Position A and Position B value
Image: pcgs

The values of the Denver-minted Van Buren dollars are generally similar to their Philadelphia counterparts, with circulated coins worth their face value. Even coins in lower mint state grades are valued at only $3 or $4. Even a gem quality coin graded MS65 is worth only about $5. (Error coins, however, can have significantly higher values, which we’ll discuss shortly.)

The highest known quality examples of Denver Van Buren dollars certified by the PCGS are graded MS67. For a Position B dollar graded MS67, the PCGS estimates its value to be $300, while there is no estimate available for a Position A example. Another grading service, the NGC, has assessed nine Denver Position A Van Buren dollars at MS69. In 2022, one of these coins was sold on eBay for $239.

2008 S 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Proof, Deep Cameo Value

2008 S 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, proof, deep cameo value
Image: pcgs

In addition to the business strike coins intended for circulation, over 3 million proof Van Buren dollars were issued in 2008. These coins were minted in San Francisco and bear the “S” mint mark on their edge. Specially prepared dies and planchets were used to produce high-quality strikes and glossy finishes, targeting collectors. Since these coins are readily available, even the best examples have relatively low prices. A PR60 coin, the lowest uncirculated grade, is worth only its face value, while a flawless PR70 specimen can be purchased for around $30.

2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A and Position B, Satin Finish Value

2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, Position A and Position B, satin finish value
Image: pcgs

In addition to the proof coins, the Mint produced Special Mint Sets specifically designed for collectors. These “special strike” coins were minted in Denver and Philadelphia, with standard mint marks. However, they differ from standard dollar coins due to their attractive satin finish. The orientation of the coin edge inscriptions categorizes them as either Position A or Position B, just like the business strike coins.

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Both Denver and Philadelphia minted 745,464 satin finish Van Buren dollars. Today, all these coins are worth more than their face value, although their value remains modest at lower uncirculated grades. For example, a Philadelphia coin graded SP60 is worth about $3, while one graded SP65 is worth a couple of dollars more.

The values of the two variants diverge at SP69. The PCGS values a Position A example at $300, while a Position B version is valued at $65.

2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin, Position A and Position B, Satin Finish Value

2008 D 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, Position A and Position B, satin finish value
Image: pcgs

Similar to the Philadelphia special strike dollars, those minted in Denver can be categorized as Position A or Position B. For all but the highest grades, the values of both variants, along with both mint marks, are the same.

For example, a Denver satin finish coin graded SP60 is worth about $3, with values gradually increasing to $12 for an SP68 example. However, quality tops out at SP69, and values for coins at that level significantly jump. A Denver Van Buren dollar graded SP69 is worth $90 if it’s a Position A example. However, if the edge lettering is the other way up, the coin will be much more valuable, around $575.

1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren Dollar Coin Error

(2008) 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren dollar coin, satin finish, missing edge lettering
Image: pcgs

During the production of Presidential dollar coins, the Mint encountered issues with inscribing the edges of these coins. As a result, a small number of coins, including Van Buren dollars, were issued without the edge lettering. The planned method for applying the edge lettering was a device called a Schuler edge lettering machine. However, some satin finish coins missed this part of the process, leading to plain edges. Unfortunately, without a mint mark, it’s impossible to determine whether these coins were struck in Denver or Philadelphia.

The value of these error coins depends on their quality and condition. For example, an SP60 graded coin is valued at $22 by the PCGS. The value rises to $80 for an SP65 grade and $250 for an SP67 grade. The highest known examples are graded SP68, with the PCGS certifying almost 50 of these coins, each valued at $400.

To see an example of a Martin Van Buren dollar with missing edge lettering, you can watch a YouTube video by Isaac G. Abarca.

2008 P 1837 to 1841 Martin Van Buren, Position A, Weak Edge Lettering

Some of the Van Buren dollars struck in Philadelphia with the lettering in Position A did not entirely miss the Schuler machine. Instead, some of the strikes resulted in weak lettering. These coins with weak edge lettering are valued at around $20 for a coin graded SP63. The highest known quality examples of these coins, graded SP66, are valued at approximately $200 by the PCGS.

FAQs

How much is a dollar coin from 1841 worth?

Dollar coins issued in 1841 depict a seated Lady Liberty on the reverse. If your coin features an image of the Statue of Liberty instead, it belongs to the later Presidential dollar coin series. Additionally, these modern coins have a gold color rather than silver.

If you genuinely possess a coin from 1841, it could be worth anywhere from $300 onwards. The value depends on whether the President depicted on the coin is Martin Van Buren or William Henry Harrison. To determine this, look for the name above the portrait on the obverse. The highest-quality example, graded MS65+ by the PCGS, is currently valued at an impressive $125,000.

Is the Martin Van Buren dollar coin worth anything?

The modern coins featuring Martin Van Buren have more modest values. Circulated coins are worth only a dollar, and even mint state examples at most grades do not exceed $10.

However, if you possess a coin with an interesting error or a high-quality “best in class” example, it could be worth significantly more. Collectible coins can reach values of several hundred dollars.

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