US Coins

What's a "technically superb monster" Morgan dollar?

An 1880-S Morgan dollar graded MS-68 CAC, with wild toning that has had the same appearance for a generation sold for $35,250 on Oct. 2, 2014.

Image courtesy Legend Rare Coin auctions.

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Oct. 27 issue.

Few coin series have as broad collector interest as Morgan silver dollars. Like fans of any long-running series with many date and Mint mark combinations, collectors often specialize while others just want a single example for type purposes. One area that experiences huge demand and often crazy auction results can be found in toned Morgan dollars. Especially on high-grade Mint State coins, some Morgan dollars have spectacular rainbow toning and when these coins are offered at auction, it’s anyone’s guess as to what they’ll bring. Here are three from Bob Simpson’s Sunnywood Collection that soared at Legend’s Oct. 2 Regency auction in Las Vegas, Nev:

1880-S Morgan dollar, MS-68, CAC, $35,250

Another spectacular example from the Sunnywood “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” collection of toned Morgan dollars is this 1880-S coin graded PCGS MS-68, also with a green CAC sticker. It brought $35,250. It is described as a “technically superb monster” with “an intensely toned obverse with blues, pinks, and true gold, miraculously paired with lustrous classic vertically banded rainbow toning on the reverse.”

Toning is imparted on a coin’s surface over time and the description speculates, “Perhaps the reverse lay facing up in the Mint bag, but the coin was propped up at the rim, thus allowing limited air flow across the obverse as well.”

Addressing concerns that the toning may perhaps change over time, Legend adds that the coin had the same look when offered at auction in 1982 and was purchased by the consignor in 2006 for $23,000, showing stability (in terms of the coin’s appearance) and price appreciation (in terms of the market).

Unusually gorgeous 1879 Morgan silver dollar graded MS-66 with a CAC sticker brings $23,500 in Las Vegas

What makes an 1881-S Morgan dollar worth $45,825? (Amazing condition, gorgeous toning)

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