Mike Maloney Observations on the Current US Economy

Here are two Mike Maloney videos taken at the same event with some observations on the current state of the US economy. As always, I think Mike Maloney videos are very intellectual and fact based.

In my opinion, American gold coin value and value of all silver will skyrocket sometime in this decade. That gives you some time to acquire your share, whether it’s in the form of gold or silver bullion or gold and silver coins. Check out GoldSilver.com on the right side of this page.

How savers are punished in today’s monetary environment

Could the USA default on its debt?

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

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The Pivotal Grading Point of Rare American Coins

The pivotal grading point of a rare coin is defined as the MS grade where the next higher grade is worth more than double the grade just below it. This is essential information for the rare American coin investor as well as collector.

Generally, two conditions will be present for a pivotal point grade. Learn to identify pivotal grading points and use this information to your advantage.

First, the third party grading service population report number of the higher grade must be less than 50% of the lower grade coin. If you review population reports, this is almost universally true.

Second, there will be at least a 100% price increase between the lower grade and the higher grade. Often, there is considerably more than double the price increase.

Pricing information for this article is based on the CDN Greysheet listings for Morgan and Peace dollars.

There is virtually always more than one pivotal grade point for a semi-key date mint state coin. It’s the combination of population and price that determines the initial and secondary pivotal point.

The secondary pivotal grading point usually has a more dramatic price increase than the initial. There are a few exceptions to this rule. The 1893-S Morgan is one of them. This is probably due to their already stratospheric prices.

The higher the coin grade, the more pivotal it becomes.

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1893-S MS Morgan

Generally speaking, the majority of Morgan and Peace silver dollars have their initial pivotal grade points at MS-65 and a secondary at MS-66.

The really common date Morgan and Peace dollars will have their pivotal point at MS-66 instead of MS-65. For example, the 1922 Peace silver dollar will initially pivot at MS-66 and again at MS-67.

The 1921 Morgan dollar will pivot initially at MS-65, with a secondary pivot at MS-66 and a tertiary pivot at MS 67. This very common coin is relatively uncommon in higher mint states.

Perhaps around 25% of Morgans are at MS-64 initially. Semi-common Morgan and Peace dates pivot at MS-64 or MS-65. The secondary is often between MS-65 and MS-66.

If you look at a price guide, you’ll notice the rarer the date, the lower grade the initial pivotal point it will have, and it may only have one at the lowest mint state grade. This is due to rarity in all grades, circulated and uncirculated.

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1889-CC MS Morgan

1893-S Morgan dollar prices increase substantially throughout its grading scale, but when you hit MS-60 the price jumps to 6 times the price of the AU-58. Then it pivots again at MS-65, but his time the secondary pivot point isn’t greater than the primary.

The difference in price between every pivot point in the mint state coin grades will be substantial, usually several thousands of dollars. To find the exact pivotal grade point, look on current price charts to determine where it is and what the exact price difference is.

What does this mean to you as an investor? Generally speaking, the greatest gains will be made for the grade just below the initial pivotal point. Again, generally speaking, the MS-64 Morgan has the greatest potential for price increases. Consult current price guides for specific information.

The grade right below the pivotal grade has a far larger market than the pivotal grade, especially in a down market. That’s because, most collectors and many investors are happy to pay a whole lot less for almost as good.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

 

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Rare American Coins and Morgan Dollar Branch Mint Proofs

There is a widespread belief that Philadelphia is the only US mint to produce proof Morgan silver dollars. This is generally true, but the other 3 mints occasionally struck proofs as well. These coins were struck with the extra pressure, from highly polished dies, one at a time and handled with extra care.

All the dies for Morgan and Peace silver dollars were made in Philadelphia. The final steps of basining and polishing were performed when the dies arrived at the respective branches.

There is a lot of controversy and conjecture around Branch mint proof coins.

Because of the low mintage numbers of branch mint proofs, and how infrequently they were struck, it’s commonly believed the branch mint proof dies were just modifications of the business dies. The largest known branch mint proof production amounts to 24 examples.

1921-S ProofThere is a lot of controversy and conjecture around these coins. Determining positively that a coin is indeed a branch mint proof is difficult. These examples usually don’t exhibit the square rims or bold design details of the Philadelphia proof silver dollars.

Employees of the three mint branches weren’t experienced in striking proof quality coins. Therefore these coins didn’t get the attention to detail the Philadelphia versions got.

Proof coins from the 3 branches are hard to distinguish from exceptional prooflike business strikes. That means they must be authenticated by an expert in the field.

The late Walter Breen was considered to be the ultimate authority on the subject. He had been authenticating these coins since 1963, and was possibly the only person expert enough to authenticate coins as proofs originating from a branch mint.

Montana coin dealer, Wayne Miller may be a close second to Walter Breen in this field. I’m not sure whom PCGS or NGC uses for this purpose.

Authentication starts with mint records indicating that the respective branch had produced proof coins in a given year. The existence of the coin must be well documented to begin with.

The well documented dates, proof coins were struck at branch mints are:

• 1879-O, 12 pieces, of which 4 are known to exist.
• 1883-O, 12 pieces, of which 2 are known to exist.
• 1893-CC, 12 pieces, of which 4 are known to exist.
• 1921-S, 24 pieces, of which 5 are known to exist.

There are other dates that exhibit definite proof qualities, such as the 1887-O, 1883-CC, 1884-CC and 1895-O, but not adequate mint records.

These examples are more than simply prooflike. Legitimate differing opinions exist among several leading and knowledgeable experts as to whether these are genuine proof coins produced at the mint branch or simply specimen type coins.

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A Rare and Lovely 1879-O Proof Morgan Dollar

The well documented dates are known as class I proofs produced by the branch mints. The 1879-O is probably the best known, because it commemorated the reopening of the New Orleans mint, closed since 1861.

The 1893-CC was struck for the closing of the Carson City Mint. The 1921’s were struck for coin dealers Farran Zerbe and Henry Chapman. I can’t find any commemorative reason for the production of the 1883-O version however.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

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Rare American Coins and Morgan Silver Dollar Proofs

Proof coins are the showpieces of the series of any coin and are therefore handled with extra care every step of their production. They represent the ultimate examples of that coin series.

In the case of Morgan silver dollars, by far the most proof examples were produced in Philadelphia. On rare occasions, the branch mints would strike proofs. This is covered in another article I’ve written on branch mint proofs.

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A Nice Example of an 1895 Morgan Proof

The planchets are hand selected for perfection, the dies are carefully polished. The press runs slowly and exerts far more pressure than on the circulation strike. Finally, the blanks are hand fed and retrieved to minimize damage during production.

To qualify as a proof, the coin details must be exceptional and fully struck. Morgan dollar specimens will exhibit squared off rims compared to the business strike.

If a proof looking Morgan dollar doesn’t exhibit the telltale squared off rims, no matter how good it looks, it isn’t one. Prooflike circulated silver dollars can occasionally be so well struck, they can almost fool the casual observer into thinking they are actually the real thing.

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1895 Morgan Proof Reverse

The fields will always appear mirror-like and are very easily damaged. Unlike their circulated siblings, care was taken at the mint during handling to avoid nicks and bag marks.

Even with all the care taken during production, these Morgan silver dollars still have a problem with hairlines in the mirror fields. Hairlines are the extremely fine scratches that show themselves because of the shiny field surfaces.

After the Morgan proof silver dollars left the mint, they were still subject to damage from handling. This came about because, the few coin collectors in the 19th century had no way to properly store their prizes. Back then, consideration was rarely given toward proper handling techniques.

Rare American Coins

1893 Morgan Proof with Hairline Scratches and Weak Strike

Careless handling sometimes caused scratches to the mirrored silver surfaces. Depending on the location, depth, and length of the scratch, the coin may be deemed ungradable. Scratches, unlike hairlines are painfully obvious from any angle.

During the 20th century, some examples were harmed from albums or the edges of plastic flips. At least this sort of damage appears on the high points where it is less noticeable.

Some Morgan proofs have weak strikes even though the coin presses are supposed to exert significantly more pressure on proof coinage. Problem years are from 1888 to 1893 and to a lesser extent from 1901 to 1904.

Proof Morgan silver dollars will continue being at the top of collector interest in this series. They have a long term track record of significantly outperforming the circulation strike coins in price appreciation.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins: Prooflike Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars

A prooflike silver dollar is struck from a polished die that produces a reflective surface usually on the field and occasionally on the device. Prooflike coins were intended for circulation and no special care was taken in their handling.

Most prooflike Morgan silver dollars are boldly struck, but a few will lack full detail. The degree of reflectivity varies from mirror like, to little more than a regular frosty circulation grade silver dollar, which is known as semi-prooflike.

Prooflike silver dollars are highly desired among collectors due to their tremendous eye appeal, and form a special niche in the market.

rare American coins

1882 Prooflike Morgan

Morgan dates can have a high circulation strike number, with only a few prooflike specimens or just the opposite can happen. The degree of reflectivity will vary from date to date, and mint to mint.

Three factors contribute to a circulation strike silver dollar looking like a proof. They are: reflectivity of the mirror surface, degree of contrast between the device and field, and mint made surface imperfections resulting from careless handling.

The cameo version of the Morgan silver dollar is the closest thing to an actual proof coin of any of the business strikes. They are the easiest to identify and of course the most valuable.

What’s known as brilliant prooflike Morgans have a shiny finish on both the fields and devices. They can be distinguished from polished coins because the date, lettering and mintmark won’t be shiny. Obviously this won’t happen on a polished example.

A grey brilliant prooflike silver dollar has a subdued luster. It is reflective, but will never appear cameo. Because these coins aren’t easily recognizable as the cameo, or brilliant, they aren’t as desirable.

Prooflike dollars show bag marks, abrasions and wear very easily. They frequently have annoying hairline swirls in the fields caused by incomplete die polishing.

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1879-S Semi Prooflike

The mirrored surfaces are easily dulled or destroyed. Temperature and humidity changes over the years can produce cloudy or milky spots on the reflective surfaces. Salt water will also ruin their surfaces.

Several factors alone, or in combination with others contribute to the prooflike traits of Morgan silver dollars. They are:

First, the master die was a cameo die with a highly polished field. This was then transferred to the working die. Generally, the first 500 to 2000 coins struck from these dies have the attributes of a proof.

Cameo circulated Morgans were fairly common in the early years, and had disappeared by 1900. This is because the cameo master die had weakened with duplication of working dies over the years. Die deterioration made successive examples less reflective, and therefore semi-prooflike in appearance.

Second is in the planchets. Planchets formed by new rollers would have a shinier surface than ones made by rollers worn from service in later years.

Third is when left over proof silver dollar dies were pressed into service after their initial use was complete. They still had a lot of working life left in them and made exquisite business strike coins.

With so many prooflike Morgan silver dollar specimens produced, you might wonder about proof and prooflike Peace dollars. Well, there aren’t any. A possible reason could be that Peace dollar working dies weren’t basined (or polished).

Technology advances had eliminated the need to individually hand polish working dies by the early 1920s. Considering that there weren’t any proof Peace dollars struck, no proof dies could be pressed into service for business strikes.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins and the Creation of the Peace Silver Dollar

Farran Zerbe was the coin collector who founded the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum in New York City with his own superb coin collection. Farran Zerbe is credited with initiating the interest by Congress in a new silver coin commemorating the recent peace from the World War.

He campaigned for a new silver dollar coin intended for circulation. Finally, on May 9th, 1921 a joint resolution by the House and Senate brought the Peace Dollar into existence.

The Pitman Act now provided for replacement of the 270 million silver dollars melted for the war effort. President Warren Harding signed an Executive Order on July 28th, 1921 for a new Peace silver dollar coin.

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Anthony de Francisci at Work

It still took until November 23rd, to announce a competition for Peace silver dollar proposals from 8 prominent sculptors. Entries were due by December 13th, 1921. Mint employees worked furiously to have the working dies ready by the deadline of Monday, December 26th.

Because of the extremely condensed timeframe for having a working prototype, the contest winner, Italian immigrant, Anthony de Francisci used his 23 year old wife, Mary Teresa Cafarelli as the model to represent the Lady of Peace. She was the last model to pose for a representation of Liberty on a US coin.

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Peace Dollar Model Teresa de Francisci

Anthony de Francisci lived from July 13, 1887 to October 20, 1964. He immigrated to the United States in 1905 and was married to Mary Teresa Cafarelli in 1920. Mary Teresa Cafarelli de Francisci lived from May 4, 1898 to October 20, 1990 and died exactly 26 years after her husband to the day.

The original high relief design quickly proved to have problems during production, because the extra striking pressure considerably shortened die life. High relief dies broke easily and had a very short service life.

The relief was reduced soon after production began to solve the initial problems. Reduced striking pressures made the coin flat and weakly detailed. This made the Peace Dollar one of the flatter silver dollars minted in the US. It is second only to the Eisenhower silver dollar.

rare american coins

Theresa de Francisci with Her Legacy Peace Dollar

Unfortunately, the flattening process made this coin lose most of the beauty intended by its designer. The beauty and bold design of this coin was lost in 1921, never to return.

The pride taken in minting the Morgan silver dollar didn’t carry over to the Peace dollar. The Philadelphia Mint produced coins with off white blotches and San Francisco was famous for its poor strikes. They DID manage to get a half million coins out of a die pair though.

 

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

 

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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The Original and Counterfeit: 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar

The 1804 Draped Bust dollar is the most interesting and desirable of all U.S. coins, with many mysteries and underworld type stories surrounding it. Known as the “King of coins”, it is one of the most famous and valuable coins in the world.

No 1804 dated silver dollars were actually struck that year. These coins show evidence of a technology which wasn’t available in 1804, but 30 years later.

Official mint records show 19,570 Draped Bust silver dollars were produced, but it’s believed that all the dollars actually struck in 1804 have been dated 1803 or before. This was a practice at the time to save the expense of creating new dies every year. The silver dollars actually minted in 1804 are indistinguishable from their 1803 predecessors.

15 specimens of the 1804 Draped Bust dollar are currently known, and all 15 are accounted for. They are categorized into Class I, II, & III. There are 8 Class I examples minted in 1834. 1 Class II, and 6 Class III coins were minted off the record by Mint employees between 1857 and as late as 1870.

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1804 Class I Muscat Proof

All Class I 1804 silver dollars will weigh 416 grains, the standard prior to 1837 and all are proofs. Class I and Class III 1804 dollars have a lettered edge of the style used from 1794 to 1803, while the Class II dollar has a plain edge.

The 1858 Type III restrikes were made on whatever planchets could be found at the time. They didn’t necessarily weigh the new 412.5 grains dictated by Congress. Besides their non-uniform weight, Class III coins can be distinguished from Class I by their slightly different reverse design.

It is thought that originally 15 Class II dollars were illegally struck by mint employees, which were later returned to mint officials. The only remaining Class II 1804 dollar has gone to the National Collection in the Smithsonian.

We now know that the 8 Class I, 1804 dollars were minted in 1834-1835 for inclusion in presentation proof sets given to dignitaries by the US Government. One is found in the King of Siam proof set, the other went to the Sultan of Muscat.

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1804 Draped Bust Dollar Class III NGC Proof 63

When the U.S. mint exhausted their original supply of 1804 dollars, an additional 7 more pieces, the type III were made to satisfy collector demand in 1858 & 1859 and released over the next 20 years to collectors.

All of these coins are uncirculated, although 4 of the 7 were made to look circulated. That way their owners could have an explanation for their acquisition, not tying them directly to the US Mint.

In the late 1960’s there were thousands of cast dollars dated 1803 & 1804, as well as Trade dollars sold to American soldiers returning from Viet Nam. These coins sometimes exhibit an I or ! after the word AMERICA on the reverse. They are cast copies of an 1800 Draped Bust silver dollar, with the last 0 retooled into a 4.

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1804 Cast Draped Bust Dollar

Cast copies typically have poor, indistinct features. The fields are porous in texture, which is in keeping with cast coins. They are also light in weight, coming in at only 22 to 23 grams. Finally, the 1804 date is nicely cut regardless of wear. A coin with blobs on the date is counterfeit.

Alterations of other dates from genuine 1801 to 1803 Draped Bust silver dollars account for the rest of the known counterfeits. Most date alterations will show tool marks around the altered date fairly distinctly, though a few have been deceptively well done.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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How to Quickly and Confidently Spot a Fake 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar

1893-S Morgan silver dollars are so renowned, that more exist today than were originally minted. Most Counterfeit 1893-S Morgans consist of altered versions of existing genuine Morgan dollars.

The majority of 1893-S Morgan silver dollars are certified, so why would I need to know how to tell a fake one when I see it? Hasn’t NGC and PCGS already done that for me?

I’ve seen fake 1893-S Morgans both graded and raw. I have to assume PCGS and NGC graders both know how to spot a fake 1893-S Morgan, so when I see an example of a counterfeit slabbed in a legitimate looking holder, I have to figure the holder is as fake as the coin.

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Genuine 1893-S Morgan. Notice the date.

I also run across fake coin denial. Owners of these coins don’t want to admit they were fooled into buying a counterfeit coin. That’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when the owner paid top dollar for a graded coin with the confidence of it being blessed from a major third party grader.

The 1893-S date/mintmark is the most valuable of the Morgan designed dollars. Because of this, most counterfeit versions have been made by altering either the date, or the mintmark.

Learning to tell a fake 1893-S Morgan is simple, because ALL 100,000 coins were made from the same obverse die and two reverse dies. That makes the diagnostic really easy.

They all have the same obverse characteristics and not terribly different reverse characteristics. Any coin that doesn’t possess the telltale diagnostic characteristics is a fake. Learn what to look for, and you can spot a fake raw coin AND a fake graded coin.

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1893-S Counterfeit. Date well spaced in relation to the rim.

The date is probably the easiest thing to pick out. Unlike other dies from the S, O, or P mints, the date has a flaw and a certain characteristic the altered coins won’t possess.

First, look closely at the 1. Does it line up exactly with the dentil directly under it? Can you draw a line right through the center of both?

Next, study the last numeral. As the date progresses, it slopes upward to the right, in relation to the edge. The 3 is noticeably higher than the 1 at the beginning. This is the easiest way to quickly spot a fake.

There are things to check in the “T” and “R” on LIBERTY, but they would need a microscope to detect. There’s a tiny die scratch in the “T” and a detail that resembles “rabbit ears” in the base of the “R”. ALL genuine 1893-S Morgans have this detail, if you happen to have a microscope check out this diagnostic detail.

You don’t really need to turn the coin over to make any more diagnostics on it.

Further diagnostics will only tell you how the alteration was made. The genuine “S” mintmark is clear and rounded. It isn’t a mushy blob. The top serif on the “S” is a vertical line, while the bottom serif is more like a triangle.

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1893-S Morgan Mintmark Close up

The next mintmark giveaway is the alignment of the “S”. It should be perfectly aligned. I’ve seen the “S” mintmark noticeably slanted, and it shouldn’t be. Also, the “S” is slightly filled in between the upper curve and the slant of the “S” as well as the lower curve and the slant.

Since most counterfeit 1893-S dollars are altered, continue to study the coin with a 10X glass. Rotate the coin and look for tooling marks around the 9 or 3 for signs of a date alteration on the obverse. Altered coins are usually the 1898-S, 1883-S, or 1893-P.

As collector values continue to increase with the 1893-S, the fakes will get even better. With emerging technologies, counterfeits will become almost perfect replicas of the original. My hope is that as technologies to accurately copy a coin advance, technologies to detect such copies will also keep up.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Collector Interest and Availability of Morgan Silver Dollars

The vast numbers of Morgan silver dollars along with their mint state beauty has served to make this series the single most collectible and popular coin among coin collectors. Their wide range of dates, mint marks, conditions and varieties give lots of possibilities to collectors with diverse interests and budgets.

Morgan dollars are the single most collectible and popular coin among collectors

Morgan silver dollars are often divided into four categories. They are: common date, semi-common date, semi-key date, and key date examples. The lower condition examples generally serve as silver bullion, or a place to start a coin collection. That’s where I started collecting coins.

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A very affordable coin

Once an appreciation of Morgans sets in, the beginning collector often takes the next step and starts looking for the least expensive, most common, BU coins. These are the most frequently traded and are the most liquid of the entire series.

There are millions of BU and circulated Morgan dollars available at affordable prices to the collector. If Morgans weren’t so generally affordable, I suspect there would be a lot less interest in owning them.

Semi-common MS dates appeal to the more advanced collector. Their higher price makes them less affordable to more people, and their prices are slightly more volatile. They are better investments than common date and yet still fairly liquid. 

Semi-key date BU examples are often added to collections when they are finally found at the right price. They are usually only sold to upgrade the collection. They are often held for the long term and trade less frequently.

Key date Morgans are actively sought by both collectors and investors alike. Once they are found, they’re rarely sold. The best grades are usually sold at auction or private transactions. These coins are regarded as “keepers” by their owners and rarely come to market.

Surprisingly enough, some of the semi-key dates are among issues with well over a million coins originally struck. Their semi-key status comes from the number surviving in mint state condition. Therefore original mintage figures don’t mean as much in determining rarity as the survivors.

The lack of government records regarding the great melts makes it even more difficult to determine potential date/mint mark rarity. As certified populations of Morgans reach the point where grading them doesn’t significantly increase their value, more accurate estimates of rarity will evolve.

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A Nice Coin to Own

Fewer and fewer hoards are coming to market as the years pass, and will continue to be less frequent in the future. Several dates lost their rarity status in the 1960’s and 70’s when the government released their stash of silver dollars to the public. These dates include the 1903-O, 1898-O, 1904-O, and of course the many BU Carson City releases.

Determining surviving date numbers is an inexact science at best. We all know that resubmissions and slab crack outs skew the TPG population numbers. But for now, Third Party Grading population reports are all we have to rely on for the Morgan silver dollar census.

An actual estimate of coins available is separate from the rare coin market, which only measures the supply in relation to demand. The market gives a general indication of rarity, but not the actual census numbers.

As time goes by, and things in the silver dollar world settle out, there will be less activity that disrupts the population numbers. Rarity estimates will become more accurate, and another piece of the numismatic puzzle closer to being in place.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins and Gobrecht Designed Silver Dollars

Congress suspended the production of silver dollars in 1804 and finally lifted it in 1831. No silver dollars were struck between 1804 and 1834, except when they were used as diplomatic presentation sets.

In 1835 interest was growing to reinstate silver dollars as regular issue coins. Christian Gobrecht was invited to present designs of the new coinage. Many short lived varieties of Gobrecht’s design were created, because of changing sentiment for the silver dollar in the mid 1830’s, both by the public and Congress.

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Original Gobrecht Dollar

Gobrecht patterned his new silver dollar based on designs from artists of the day. The obverse of Liberty Seated came from Thomas Sully and the reverse from Titian Peale’s eagle in flight.

By the mid 1830’s when these coins were being designed, there were 26 states. Gobrecht original design called for 13 large stars and 13 small stars. That resulted in public criticism, because the 13 original states weren’t more important than the new entries.

The early examples had Christian Gobrecht’s name displayed on the obverse in tiny letters above the date. This was the only time in US mint history when the full name of the designer was placed on a coin, although initials are commonly displayed somewhere.

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Original Gobrecht Dollar Reverse

The dispute over the full name on the dollar coin delayed production until December 1836. Public objections were strong enough to bring about its omission in the 1839 issues.

Basically, the 1836 & 1837 Gobrecht dollars had a plain edge with his name above the date in the rock base, with large and small stars on the reverse. The coins struck in 1839 had a reeded edge, no name in the rock base and no stars on the reverse.

All Gobrecht dollars were struck in the Philadelphia Mint, and all the regular circulation coins of 1836 and 1837 have a proof finish, so the public could see the high quality of the new coins. This is unique in U.S. coinage, where coins intended for circulation were struck as proofs.

The Gobrecht silver dollars minted in their various forms between 1836 and 1839 came in both pattern and regular issue coins. A total of 1900 coins were produced between 1836 and 1839 with 1600 dollars dated 1836, even though they were actually struck in 1836 and 1837. The other 300 were delivered in 1839.

Only 1,000 of the 1600 examples were struck before the end of the year 1836. Authority for new Seated Liberty silver dollars was given by congress in 1834 with the Old Draped Bust, 416 grain weight standard of 1792, rather than the new standard of 412.5 grains of 1837.

600 more 1836 silver dollars were minted in March of 1837 for public distribution at the new 412.5 grain weight. These coins are very close in weight, but can be differentiated from the first 1836 issue, because they had the obverse and reverse aligned in “medal” fashion, rather than the prior “coin” fashion.

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Gobrecht Dollar Pattern for 1839

The 1838 silver dollar is a pattern coin only, with no regular issue struck. These coins are extremely rare, with fewer than 10 pieces in existence.

In December 1839, 300 more silver dollars were produced and were the last dollars with the flying eagle reverse. The minting of Gobrecht’s Seated Liberty design silver dollars continued in 1840 with a Heraldic Eagle reverse from 1807, and stayed in use until 1873.

There was little interest in numismatics prior to 1850, so very few of these coins were spared circulation. After 1850 however, numismatics started rising in popularity among Americans.

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Gobrecht Dollar Restrike

The consumer demand was such that the US Mint started restriking earlier coins during the 1850s and 1860s. Mint director James Ross Snowden used Mint dies to create such numismatic anomalies as the Class II and Class III 1804 dollars, and Gobrecht dollar restrikes.

The number of Gobrecht dollar restrikes is believed to exceed the original mintage figures. All original dollars dated 1836 will show the eagle flying “onward and upward,” while the restrikes made in the 1850’s and 60’s will have the eagle flying horizontally.

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