With rare coin auctions, anything can happen.
Take the recent Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction held at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in New Orleans, May 9 to 11.
The sale had three lovely, high-end Mint State 1903-S Morgan dollars, each graded by Professional Coin Grading Service. One was a very lightly toned MS-64 coin with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, another a very lightly toned MS-64+ with a green CAC sticker and a third coin was brilliant and graded MS-65+.
Logic would dictate that the MS-65+ coin would bring the most money. Yet at $10,575, it brought the least of the three. The MS-64 coin realized $11,162 and the MS-64+ dollar brought $10,869.
That the numerically lowest graded coin would bring more than two higher graded coins is unusual, but not unheard of in a market that continues to pay big premiums for gorgeous coins.
This market fact was evident in other lots in the sale, including some gorgeous Carson City Mint dollars. A flashy 1884-CC Morgan dollar graded MS-67 with a green CAC sticker sold for $7,344. Two weeks earlier another bright PCGS MS-67 example of this issue brought $3,529 at auction.
An 1892-CC Morgan dollar with moderate toning on both sides, graded MS-64 with a green CAC sticker, brought $9,224.
This price becomes far more impressive when one considers that a toned 1892-CC dollar graded PCGS MS-64+ with a green CAC sticker realized $4,406.25 at an April 26 auction.
Other coins were right on the money, realizing what was expected. The sale offered three PCGS MS-62 1893-CC dollars — two with green CAC stickers. Each one brought $5,141, consistent with recent auction transactions and only slightly higher than the $4,935 that a PCGS MS-61 example with a green CAC sticker realized at the New Orleans convention auction.
But Morgan dollars weren’t the only dollars that brought the heat.