US Coins

1881 Morgan dollar gets Proof 60 grade due to abrasions, scratches

An 1881 Morgan dollar graded Proof 60 sold for $1,762.50 at a Jan. 7, 2014, Heritage auction.

Heritage Auctions

An oft-repeated phrase is that “Proof is a method of manufacture and not a condition.”

Proof coins without wear are graded Proof 60 to Proof 70. Those that have light circulation may grade lower, in a Proof grade corresponding to the amount of wear, like Proof 58 for a coin with light wear at the high points of the design. Proof 60 represents the “base” of wear-free Proof coins, and a coin in this grade will likely have marks, hairline scratches in the fields, and perhaps a loss of reflectivity.

Here is one of three Morgan dollars Coin World is profiling in this Market Analysis that show the range of the Proof 60 grade in a series.

The Coin

1881 Morgan dollar, Proof 60

The Price


The Story

Many Proof Morgan dollars that are traded as Proof 60 in the marketplace are often “net graded” coins that have been given the default Proof 60 grade because of a deficiency such as questionable color or improper cleaning.

This 1881 Morgan dollar graded Proof 60 by Professional Coin Grading Service has noticeable and distracting abrasions on Liberty’s face and various hairline scratches in the fields of both sides.

The reverse shows a bit of pleasant cameo contrast, although the coin is not designated Cameo.

The piece sold for $1,762.50. That price is in line with what a Proof 61 or even a Proof 62 example might sell for, and more than the $1,200 to $1,500 that Proof Morgan dollars designated as Stained or Improperly Cleaned often trade at.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

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