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NumisMedia Monthly


Our monthly article
detailing specific areas
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of United States Rare Coins

June 2018

Lower Prices Attracting Buyers to Rare Date Morgan Dollars

     The Morgan Dollar market has been trending downward over the last several years, in some cases values have declined dramatically. Looking back just six years ago, common date Morgan Dollar prices have dropped quite noticeably.

     The FMV for the common date MS67 was at $790 and is currently priced at $690, the MS66 was at $444 against the current price of $250, and the MS65 was at $194 while today it is at $148. Most notably, the common date MS66 is down 43% and it is still a tough sell unless the coin has super eye appeal (that usually means great color, a CAC sticker, and/or the + designation). But at some point the overall coin market should cycle back up and the common date Morgan Dollar could once again see these previous advanced levels.

     While the common dates have fallen, many of the better date Morgan Dollars have dropped as well. The rare coin market continues to drift toward the buying and selling of modern bullion related coins and this has impacted Morgan Dollar prices throughout the charts.

     But recently there have been some indications that Morgans could be on the way back up. For example, the 1903 S in MS66 was at $18,560 in 2015; at the beginning of this year the FMV was down to $17,310, but has since recovered to $18,440, perhaps a sign that the Morgan Dollar market is on the upswing. This date has only 49 coins certified in MS66 with another 6 in MS66+, and there is an additional 6 coins in higher grades with MS67+ the highest. This has always been a rare date with just over 1.2 million coins minted, but with the drop in demand during the market downturn, the price was adjusted accordingly. With the FMV in MS67 at $64,380, and very few coins available, the MS66 could be a wise selection for acquisition as long as it is an above average coin with good eye appeal.

     There are additional signs that the Morgan Dollar market is trying to make a comeback. Numerous high-grade rare date Morgans were sold at the most recent Sotheby’s Auction in New York, and at prices well above the current market. A coin formerly from the Kenny Duncan and Jack Lee Collections, the 1884 S Morgan Dollar in PCGS MS67 with the CAC sticker brought $735,000. This is the only coin certified in MS67 although there is one PCGS MS68.

1884 S Morgan Dollar PCGS MS67 CAC

1884 S Morgan Dollar PCGS MS67 CAC sold for $735,000 at the Sotheby’s Auction in New York, May 21, 2018

     There were other San Francisco Dollars that brought strong premiums over the current market. Another Jack Lee Pedigree coin, the 1892 S in PCGS MS67 CAC realized $495,000. Of the 10 certified MS67 coins, 3 are CAC approved, and there is just one grading higher in MS68 by PCGS. This is a $100,000+ coin in all grades of MS64 and higher.

     One of the most recognizable rarities in the Morgan Dollar series, an 1893 S sold for $735,000, certified by PCGS MS65 and with the CAC sticker. With an original mintage of only 100,000, there are just 7 coins certified in MS65 with no other currently receiving the CAC sticker; there is one MS66 in NGC and one MS67 in PCGS. This date is priced at over $100,000 in the lowest Mint State grade of MS60.

     Below are some of the other Morgan Dollars from this Sotheby’s Sale that sold at premiums over the then current market.

Date/DenominationGradePrice Realized
1879 CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS65 CAC$56,250
1879 CC Morgan Dollar Cap DiePCGS MS65 CAC$50,000
1882 O/S Morgan DollarNGC MS65$50,000
1883 S Morgan DollarPCGS MS65 CAC$50,000
1889 CC Morgan DollarPCGS MS63 DMPL CAC$75,000
1892 CC Morgan DollarPCGS MS66 CAC$40,000
1893 CC Morgan DollarPCGS MS65$90,000
1893 O Morgan DollarPCGS MS65 DMPL CAC$325,000
1895 O Morgan DollarPCGS MS65$225,000
1897 O Morgan DollarPCGS MS66 CAC$262,500

     Morgan Dollars have long been one of the most collected, traded, and studied series in numismatics. A resurgent rare date Morgan market could very well carry the entire coin market into the next boom.

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