In 1872, the US Mining Act was passed. The law allowed anyone to claim public land for the purpose of hard rock mining at a rate as low as $2.50 per acre. The act also stipulated that no royalties would be owed to the federal government for the mining activities. From 1872 to 1993, it is estimated that $230 billion dollars of minerals have been extracted from public land. This 1872 silver dollar recalls this act that many have capitalized on.
The addition of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST in 1866 marks the start of the second major type in the Seated Dollar series. The Motto variant would be produced through 1873, when the infamous Crime of '73 (Mint Act of February 12, 1873) abolished the standard Silver Dollar, replaced it with the Trade Dollar and effectively placed the United States on the gold standard.
The later years of the Seated Dollar series are filled with scarce and rare issues. The P-mint deliveries from 1866 through 1869 are seldom encountered in any grade since most business strikes were exported and melted overseas. The four Carson City Mint deliveries from 1870-1873 - the first CC-mint Silver Dollars in U.S. coinage history - are also scarce-to-rare, the final-year 1873-CC exceedingly so. Finally, the 1872-S is elusive in all grades and the 1870-S is a major numismatic rarity with only nine or 10 examples reported from an unknown original mintage.