When collectors think of the key Morgan dollars, dates like the
1889-CC, 1893-S and Proof-only 1895 coins come to mind. Yet, in top
grades, otherwise common issues become condition rarities, with the
finest known examples bringing prices that rival the “name brand” keys.
On Oct. 15, Legend Rare Coin Auctions will offer the second part of
the Coronet Collection of Morgan dollars as part of its Regency
Auction XIV. The auction will be held at The Bellagio hotel in Las
Vegas as part of the Professional Coin Grading Service Members Only
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1901 Dollar a ‘Silent Key’
The collection’s 1901 Morgan dollar has been graded PCGS Mint State
66 and was once part of Jack Lee’s magnificent dollar collection.
By mintage alone, with nearly 7 million produced, it is not a rare
issue. However, Mint State examples are elusive and base-level MS-60
examples trade for around $3,000. It is a rarity in grades finer than
MS-63 with PCGS certifying just 34 in MS-64 (an example graded PCGS
MS-64 sold for $51,700 at Heritage’s recent American Numismatic
Association auctions), two in MS-65 and one example — the Coronet
Collection’s — in MS-66.
It is the rarest of all Philadelphia Mint Morgan dollars in Mint
State as nearly all surviving examples were placed into circulation
around the time of issue.
Legend observes that, at first glance, this particular example looks
more like a common late-date New Orleans Mint dollar, in that it has
clean and satiny surfaces with strong luster and bold strike. The
excellent eye appeal is in contrast to most surviving examples that
are poorly struck with dull luster.
Legend writes, “The Coronet Collector accepted only the finest
Morgans for this collection and this coin not only ranks as one of the
greatest pieces in this collection, but also the all-time finest
1901-P. The late Jack Lee clearly agrees, or he would have never
included this in his collection, and although CAC believes this to be
closer to an MS65+, choosing not to sticker it, we respectfully disagree.”
The piece carries an estimate of $500,000 to $550,000 and Legend
adds that the consignor paid $575,000 for this coin in 2010, before
calling it a “silent” key to the series.
In a pre-sale press release, Legend stated: “The east coast
businessman, who assembled this collection and prefers to remain
anonymous, has spent the better part of the last 50 years putting
together this tremendous set. He started collecting as a young child
with one goal in mind — to assemble the finest collection of Morgan
Silver Dollars in history.” The Coronet Collection is the all-time
finest Morgan dollar set in the PCGS Registry.
Part of it was sold at Legend’s June 25 Regency Auction XII, and the
star of the collection — an 1893-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS-67 —
has been offered by Legend at a $2 million fixed price.