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NumisMedia Monthly
NumisMedia Monthly

Our monthly article detailing specific areas

of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and

investors of United States Rare Coins

April 2015

The Ultimate Collector Set: Morgan Silver Dollars

     Morgan Silver Dollars are preeminently the most popular and sought after of all U.S. collector coins. There are over 100 different Morgan Silver Dollars by date and mint mark; but there are hundreds more when you consider all the varieties that were minted.

     There are thousands of collectors who attempt to assemble an entire set of Morgan Dollars. Many dealers have purchased partially completed sets from those who decided it was almost impossible to complete the task. But how expensive is it to purchase an entire set?

     In March 2007 a complete set of MS63 Morgan Dollars as listed in the NumisMedia FMV Price Guide was $516,059. Today, that same set has an FMV of $620,088. That is an increase of over 20%. This, of course, doesn’t take into account the difficultly of acquiring each coin at the current FMV. The majority of these coins should be available at current levels, however, there are some that become progressively more rare as the quality increases.

     Below we have listed in order the top 15 dates by number certified (PCGS & NGC combined) in MS63. We have also listed the FMV of each date in March 2007 compared to the current FMV.

# Certified
March 2007
1893 S12$162,500$187,500
1892 S12$62,500$78,130
1895 O33$48,130$51,880
1884 S91$35,310$55,630
1895 P Proof113$50,630$57,500
1889 CC157$38,130$53,130
1903 S228$5,940$7,560
1901 P237$14,380$16,560
1896 O444$7,030$8,160
1893 O477$7,310$7,810
1894 O499$4,250$5,590
1897 O525$4,880$5,160
1895 S546$5,590$7,410
1894 P561$6,440$5,940
1904 S593$3,220$5,000

     All the listed coins advanced since 2007 with the exception of the 1894 which was down about 10%. This is likely the result of a disproportionate increase in the number of coins certified for the grade over this timeframe. These 15 coins make up $96,720 of the total increase in the FMV of the full set since 2007. This is an additional indication of how important these 15 coins are to the entire set. Further, if you remove these coins from the complete set of MS63 Morgan Dollars, the total value of the FMV for the remaining coins is just $67,128. If you look at the populations of these coins you will find that the majority of them are in the thousands for the MS63 grade.

     One important observation here is that there are only 12 coins certified in MS63 for both the 1892 S and 1893 S, thus there are only 12 possible complete sets of MS63 Morgan Dollars. When you consider that some of these MS63’s may be in sets with other higher or lower graded coins it makes the MS63 set a rather rare accomplishment.

     With so many collectors searching for the ultimate grade, we can also look at the availability (or unavailability) of Morgan Dollars with the highest value in MS65. The following chart shows how many coins have been certified, by PCGS and NGC combined, in MS65 and higher grades for each date. We have also listed the current FMV for each date in MS65.

# Coins Certified
MS65 & Higher
1886 O3$200,000
1884 S6$268,750
1896 O6$173,130
1889 CC8$343,750
1895 O9$190,630
1893 O9$200,000
1893 S9$500,000
1892 S21$168,750

     The above mentioned dates are by far the rarest of the high grades in the Morgan Dollar series. Eight of the nine dates have less than 10 coins certified in MS65 and higher and are nearly impossible to locate. Current owners of these dates know what they have and are not likely to let them go for anything reasonable. The 21 coins certified for the 1892 S would appear to be rather high for this rarity which could include some resubmissions.

     The FMV for the complete set of Morgan Dollars in MS65 listed in NumisMedia FMV Price Guide is $3,101,296. However, less than 10% of the coins represent over three-quarters of the total value for the set, once again emphasizing the importance placed on these top rarities and the difficulty in completing the ultimate set of Morgan Silver Dollars.

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NumisMedia Monthly Archive

Our monthly article detailing specific areas of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and investors of U.S. Rare Coins

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