US Coins

MS-65 1881 Morgan dollar proves an affordable ANA auction item

Both Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Heritage Auctions hosted massive auctions at this year’s American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 11 to 15.

While six-figure rarities often capture headlines, the sheer volume of these auctions provide many opportunities for collectors to add coins to their collection at more reasonable price points.

Connect with Coin World:  

Here is one of three coins we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis that sold for less than $500 and that each provide solid value for the money.

The Coin 

1881 Morgan dollar, MS-65

The Price 


The Story 

1881 Morgan dollars from the Philadelphia Mint are most commonly found certified in Mint State grades of MS-62 to MS-64. Mint State 65 examples are tougher to locate but still available, with Professional Coin Grading Service grading more than a thousand in this grade. The population thins substantially in finer grades with just 135 PCGS submissions earning the MS-66 grade level, with few finer.

Often, colorful toned Morgan dollars trade at a premium to untoned coins, and this example, with even vertical bands of jewel tones on both sides, would appeal to many collectors of toned coins. 

The toning, not quite bold enough to be called rainbow, is still attractive. It represents a major value when compared with other examples that have recently traded at auction and the $493.50 that it brought at Heritage’s American Numismatic Association online session is less than the $550 to $650 that untoned or lightly toned examples typically bring.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

1860-S Seated Liberty half dollar with luster brings solid value at ANA

One of only 15 at MS-67+, 1936 commemorative half dollar sells for less than $500

More from 

Application of edge devices differs between Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D and 2015-W Native American dollars

1933 double eagle sighting leads to eventual call from FBI office: Guest Commentary

Seeking a different challenge for your collecting pursuits?: Q. David Bowers

2015 John F. Kennedy Coin and Chronicles set awaits numismatic community's response to Sept. 16 release

Packaging issues hurt notes in undisclosed number of 2015 American $1 Coin and Currency sets

Community Comments