US Coins

1901 Morgan dollar from Coronet Collection sale a 'silent key'

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 coin show. 

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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.



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